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Some photos for you to enjoy :) (Another Quick Catch Up Post)

I hope the day finds everyone well and happy :). I have been lurking and reading a lot lately but honestly my brain has been too fried to re...

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Thursday, October 4, 2012


I just love the month of October. I love Autumn and October is the month when Autumn shows off. Color here is beginning to reach peak in some areas and others are just getting started. DD and I started a new part-time job together last week. We like being able to work together. We are off on the weekends so hopefully Saturday I might be able to take a drive and get some pictures of the colors. I just wanted to write a short post this morning and post some pictures. So have a great day!

Wreath I made yesterday. Took about 10 minuets. Everything, even the grapevine was harvested from around my yard.

Goldenrod and Ironweed growing in my garden.

Purple coneflower in bloom in Cherokee NC

Black eyed susan in NC
Rainy and foggy day at Clingman's Dome.
My parent's neighbor's Passion vine grows through my parent's fence :)
I dead-headed some of my FIL flowers last year and planted some of the seeds here at my house. This hollyhock is from that bag of mixed seeds lol It is actually over 4 feet tall and has bloomed itself silly since Spring...still going strong :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Brrr, Good Morning (*shiver `n` shake*)

I guess you can tell from the title that it is a bit cool here this morning. I'm loving it. We had our windows open yesterday and last night and it feels so good, chilly but good. We had a great service at church last night. We have been visiting a great little church not far from home and I love it there. Not sure if it will be our new "home" but if it is  I would be happy. We will be enjoying a fellowship dinner there Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it.
We took a lil trip to North Carolina Tuesday. We had a great time together as a family. We love to roadtrip and it was a hoot and a half. We got to see some turkey and elk and drive and walk through the clouds which wsas so cool. Clingma's Dome was cloaked in heavy clouds due to the rainy weather we were having. The kids decided the next time we hike it they want to do it when the cloud cover is heavy. Not sure if that will happen this Fall because they will be closing the road at the end of October.
The leaves are showing some color on the road to Clingman's though if any of y'all are looking for a nice drive. On the NC side of the mountain there is some color too. Driving over from Cherokee to Maggie Valley you can see some yellows are reds.The leaf report also said the drive through the Blueridge Parkway is showing color too. Plus Maggie Valley is getting all decorate for Fall :) I love driving down that road and seeing all the decorations.
If you would like to visit the Smokies  this Fall here are some links to check out the Fall foliage report and guided history tours.

Have a blessed day! Blessings ! ~ Nikki

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Long Time Away...Needed A new Mindset

I have been away from this blog for a while. I have been lurking and reading my blog roll faves but whenever the thought of posting to my own would flit through my brain, all I could see was a blank page. Sometimes things happen in life and it drains everything in you. Mine has been a landslide of changes since early August. Basically I have just felt whiny and irritable because life didn't work out according to my plan this Fall and I let it steal all my joy. Worry has been my constant companion. And I should know better...I do... it is just sometimes getting your heart and head to sing the same tune is a difficult thing. To make a long story short (and therefore reducing my chances of whining even more), I lost my job and my funding for school. So I have to put off my Nursing classes for another semester and maybe even next Fall. No job (plus the loss of "extra" cash left over from my school loans, which helped pay some things) has meant things are more than tight here at home. No new job yet although I'm looking :) My DD's funding was affected to so she had to put off her classes til Spring. All that combined with all the "little" things just made a mess of my plans and I have been  upset and moody and heartbroken....you know, all the things a mature ( I once thought) CHRISTian should be. Anyway, I'm tired of feeling whiny. I decided to put my big girl pants on and move on. I need to focus on the good things God has done for me and concentrate less on what I feel like I "lost". Yes, I have efficiently been chastised :)
So , in the spirit of a renewed mindset... Preacher had surgery last week and is doing well. Maybe he can now have relief from his shoulder pain. Fall began to sneak in around the end of August (to say it is early is an understatement lol ) and all the wildflowers of the season are in bloom and cooler temps are here YAY! I had a wonderful birthday cookout with my family in August. We just finished our first week of homeschool and it went fantastic ( by the way , I will be updating that poor neglected blog of mine ). My DD made this cute template for me for Fall. I love the crow. She mad it using coloring sheets and PSP :) Best Christmas gift I ever bought her!
I do have a most urgent request for your prayer lists, my BIL Chris (whom I love like my own brother) was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. He is praying for healing...will you pray with us ? The fact his cancer was found at all is a pure God thing so I know God has great plans for him through all of this. His wife (Preacher's sister) and daughters long to keep their husband and daddy around for a while longer so please be praying for them.
So much good has been given me than I could put here in this blog post and I have been too self absorbed to enjoy it ... but I'm gonna start to now lol So I'm off for a bit but have a great day ... get out in the Autumn sun and have some fun today...I'm going bug hunting with my baby DD :) Life is good...God is good ALL THE TIME :) If I ever forget that again will you kindly remind me ? Thanks:) Blessings ! ~ Nikki

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Late Night Rambles

I hope this post finds all of you in Blogland doing well. We have been enjoying cooler temps and lots of rain in our area. Everything is turning green again and Preacher actually had to mow this week. This drought and heat has been terrible for so many. Gas has already risen back to $3.18 her and we were at $2 .92 around the 4th. Food prices are expected to  soar too. Now would be a great time to stock up if you have not already. Buy while it is cheap :) Stretch that dollar til it screams !
School has been going ok so far. This summer I am taking speech and a humanity; neither which I like. Oh well, it must be done. At night while at work I try to accomplish all I can on homework when I have some down time.
Today I managed to can some salsa. My parents had an abundance of "maters" so they shared with us. This was my first time making salsa but it turned out so yummy. I tweaked a recipe from the Ball canning book. I will write up a post about it later; hopefully tomorrow :)
Signing off tonight I will leave you with this interesting tidbit:
As I have mentioned before, my DD BabyGirl is a writer (an amazing one at that) and she is having an interesting discussion on her blog. You should check it out!
Words On A Page

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How I Miss The Bee Keeper

The Bee Keeper holding me. Also my brother Rog and my cousin Pam. The hill behind us would soon be the home to his bees and the miniature Jerusalem.

Tonight I have been thinking... thinking about the Bee Keeper. I called him Papaw. He was my whole world when I was young. An old Baptist preacher who worked the land to make a living. He built the home where he raised his children, including my Momma. He also built a two story apartment on his farm for his grown children to come home to when times got hard. That apartment was my home for many years. At one time my family lived in one story and my Aunt and her family in the other. Papaw wanted to keep family close. He knew second to God, family was most important. I hunted, trapped and fished with Papaw. Our blackberry pickings were always memorable too. Our ginseng hunts were legendary; at least in my mind. Papaw let us grandkids grow up country style...barefoot on the first warm day of Spring and playing in the creek catching crawdads but we learned about hard work too. We all had chores. We worked in the fields, carried water and helped Mamaw around the house. I was even known to paint the bricks of his house with a can full of creek water and a feather from one of his laying hens. I loved how those half brick walls would shine, at least while they were wet. My nickname was Lucy Slewfoot...I don't why ... but I loved it. Papaw had a strict dress code for himself; Monday thru Saturday: overalls, white tank tshirt and white button up, Sunday: White button up and suit and tie. He smoked; during the week it was hand rolled cigarettes with Prince Albert canned tobacco, or a pipe of cherry tobacco ( I still think of him every time I smell it), Sundays he smoked Marlboros. He didn't want all those ashes from home rolled cigarettes to get on his Sunday clothes. We buried tons of treasure in those old Prince Albert cans. Papaw loved making concrete statuary. He even built the city of Jerusalem in miniature in the side yard. That was one of my favorite places to play as a child. In my eyes, Papaw could do anything. There were many things he loved to do. Preaching was his favorite thing I believe. Mine was sitting on the couch with him as he read Scripture to me. I can close my eyes and still see his finger sliding across the worn pages of his Bible as he showed me the words he was reading. He even let me "marry" him and Mamaw one day. I felt so much like him as I read the words from his old Pastor's manual. I still remember the sweet kiss they shared when I "pronounced" them man and wife. Many times I would be playing in the yard and couples would show up and ask him to marry them. His yard probably saw more weddings than the church building. I made him promise that he would marry me and my future husband someday. He couldn't keep that promise but that's ok...he would have if it was up to him. He did marry my brother and his wife. I know Rog treasures that memory. We lost Papaw not long after the wedding. Papaw had a hobby that was very special to him. He was a beekeeper. Bee hives lined the hill above his house and the yard was always full of the sound of busy bees. He lovingly donned his gear and would bring out sweet warm honey fresh from the hive for us to eat. Yummmm, there is nothing like it in the world. Papaw loved his bees. He found his quiet time working with them. I was always allergic. A bee sting meant a trip to the ER. Sometimes the swelling would be very bad and I would be ill for days. Papaw always worried about me during those times but I know he also mourned his bee. Sometimes the bees and I could come to an agreement and I would go through Spring and Summer without a sting. I'm not sure who was happier, Papaw or me. There are many stories I could share about Papaw. But tonight, I was thinking about the Bee Keeper. I would have bees if I could. I long for that sweet warm honey.I listen each Spring as the few honeybees around my house visit my gardens, I long for the sound of their wings. What memories they bring... I long most of all for the Bee Keeper...
My Papaw, My Mamaw, My Granny (his Momma) and my brother Rog. Behind them is the apartment from my post. Also you can see in the background the limbs of Papaw's snowball bush , where he sneezed his teeth out one afternoon...but that's another post.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Heatwave and pics

Like most of the country we have been experiencing a heatwave here in the Smokies. Our temperatures have been around 105 for the past few days. It has been too hot to do much of anything except chill inside in the air conditioner. I have been blessed to have the weekend off so I had my Aunt Patsy come and stay with me. She is like a second Momma to me. She was recently diagnosed with Alzheimers. She moved in with my Momma and Daddy so she could have full time care. My Momma had a bout with her MS and injured her arm when she fell (due to loss of sensation). I wanted to spend some time with my Aunt and it gave my parents some alone time and gave Momma a break so she can get to feeling better. We have had great weekend going to church and watching I Love Lucy reruns.
My Summer classes are going good so far. I had a midterm today in my Humanities class and made a 91. Speech class is interesting although if it wasn't required I wouldn't take it. I am also trying to get organized for my fall nursing semester. there is so much to do before class even starts.
Well, it is getting late and I am ready for bed. I work tomorrow night so I need to get some precious sleep. I thought I would finally post the pictures of my kitchen rearrange lol.Have a great night y'all. Blessings! ~ Nikki
On the left is an old secretary that my neighbor threw away. We salvaged it and it now sits in our dining room and functions as a bookcase/computer desk. It once had a home on the opposite side of the room. On the right is a metal cabinet that belonged to my Mamaw. It will hold my canning jars on the shelves (notice the empty pickles jars lol my kids raided me), and in the bottom my canners have found a new home.
This is one of 2 antique Hoover style cabinets I have . This one belonged to my Mamaw. It used to be home to our school books. Now it serves as a storage unit for my blender,food processor and cake plates. The canisters belong to my daughter  and were given to her by Aunt Patsy. The breadbox now houses the microwave and the top shelf is home to my metal cookware collection. My MIL and cousin contributed these lovely pieces to me. This cabinet (and the other) were once in the dining room (same spots as the cabinets in the other picture). They now are in the kitchen. The other cabinet is home to all of my baking stuff. Bringing these into the kitchen opened up both the dining room and kitchen and made them feel larger.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy First Day Of Summer

Right now I am at the library with my youngest daughter. While she is in book club I thought it would be the perfect time to play blog catch up. So much has been going on since my last post. We had family from Chattanooga come and visit for a week. Then we went to Chattanooga for a week. Plus I also started a new job. I am a part-time home assistance aid. Plus I started 2 summer classes and before I knew it time and the blog just got away from me. So here I am hoping that I can keep up better. I installed the Blogger app on my phone so that I can blog from anywhere now so maybe you will at least get some snippets every now and then.
                I still have some pictures from my kitchen rearrange to post but they are on my desktop at home so I will post those later. I hope life has been going great for everyone so far. Our first official day of summer here has been hot so far and the outlook for the rest of the week does not look great heat wise. But at least the nights are cool. I spent several hours on the porch with my family the other night. We had a great time just sitting around chatting and enjoying the evening sounds, cool breeze and the lightening bugs.
                We hope to go camping soon. My children went with my parents this year (a few weeks ago) but I didn’t get to go. We are making plans though for a camping trip to the lake. So what are everyone els’e plans for this summer? Blessings! ~ Nikki

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Got That "Rearrange Bug" Again...

So I decided that I was going to rearrange my kitchen and dining room today. Now I wonder what in the world I was thinking lol. I managed to get the big things moved around thanks to Preacher and Hoopy. I just ran out of time and energy tonight to finish putting everything in its place. Maybe tomorrow morning I will have it done and put up some pictures. I will tell you that I am making "places" for certain things in my kitchen...a baking cabinet (for all baking supplies and tools) and a canning cabinet (for all of my jars, canners and canning tools). So have a great evening and hopefully you will see the completed project tomorrow. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rainy Daze

It has been a cool and rainy day. It has been great with the windows open and the breeze rolling through and the distant thunder rumbling in the background. But alas, cloudy sky and pattering rain make for a rainy "daze". My energy level has been nil and all I have wanted to do is be lazy. I did manage to get laundry done today. BabyGirl helped me cook supper tonight which made for a fun time. We had pintos, cornbread, polish sausage, taters and peppers and onions. A very  "comfy" supper but it sure did add to the lazy feeling lol. I'm hoping tomorrow is a little sunnier so I can work outside although I can't complain about the steady and gentle rain we have had over the past two days. Well, I'm headed off to bed .Blessings! ~ Nikki

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Morning all

Preacher and 3 of our Blessings went to Chattanooga this week and Tman and I stayed home. We have had a pleasant week together watching tv and goofing off. He is at work this morning and I have been lurking around on the computer. I have most of my housework completed except for a small load of laundry but I think I will wait till the family gets back today with their dirty stuff before washing it. I could go outside and start working in the flower beds but it looks like rain is eminent so I think I will hold off for now. I have been fighting a headache for 3 days and had a bout with a tummy bug yesterday so I'm not feeling completely up to par anyway. Maybe I will just laze around this morning. It would be a good time to start working on some Christmas projects. Have a blessed day everyone :) Blessings ! ~ Nikki

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Weekend Wanderings

Good morning everyone! Today is starting out nice and cool although it is a little rainy and sometimes even stormy. I took some money to Tman this morning at the Rescue Squad and I got soaked to the bone from the heavy wind and rain. Things have calmed somewhat now and I am enjoying a lazy moment before heading out to start my day.
I am officially the proud owner of a new screen door. Preacher surprised me the other day with it. I came home from my Momma's and he had just finished hanging it. He knows I have wanted one for years. I grew up with screen doors on our houses and what I love even more than the breeze through one is the *squeak*. Ahhh, that's a special sound from childhood. I think I will write a post on screen doors :)
I finished finals on Wednesday and ended up with all A's this semester except for one well deserved and hard fought for B lol. My instructor/advisor said I did a wonderful job this semester and she even wrote a letter of recommendation for me. I have applied for several part time jobs and even had an interview Thursday. I thought it went well and I expect to hear back from them. We are praying about it for sure. Preacher took me to pick up my letter at campus yesterday morning and afterward we went yard-saling for a little while. We bought a 4 piece luggage set that looks new for $15. It has 2 rolling suitcases , a large one and a small one. That is why I wanted them. I need a rolling suitcase for next semester and a small one at the store is $20. Preacher also got a new propane torch attachment that hooks to his large tank for $5. We also got some clothes for the kids at cheap prices. All in all we spent very little and got some great deals.Last night we sat in the swing and watched the "super moon" and were blessed to see several meteors from the shower.We even snuck off for a $1 ice cream treat , which was nice :) We had a few lightening bugs flashing in the yard this week. I'd say by next weekend they will really be lighting the yard up. We enjoy watching them on summer nights. There is something so peaceful about watching them "dance".
Thursday at midnight we went to see the Avengers movie. BabyGirl got tickets for us. We saw it in 3D and it was pretty awesome. I am a Marvel nerd from childhood and it is rubbing off on my kids. We were tired when we got home about 3 am but we had a good time and its nice to do things like that together.
Today I have plans to do more housework and get everything back in its place. Later this afternoon we are having a cookout at my uncle's. I hope that y'all  have a great Saturday. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Monday, April 30, 2012

Goings on and such...

Today I had my final in Pharmacology. I think I did fairly well. Wednesday is my final in Fundamentals so lots of studying ahead. It has been very warm here for the last few days with highs in the 80s. We can't complain much though as we had a true Dogwood and Blackberry Winter with cold temps and even frost over the last few weeks. I'm eager to get my garden out now that the weather seems to have settled down. Hopefully even the tornadic weather has decided to stay away for a while since we have had some nasty bouts with it also this year.
Right now it is a pleasant evening. I'm sitting in my favorite chair beside the picture windows in my living room. There is a cool breeze blowing through the house bringing the heady scent of honeysuckle with it. I let the honeysuckle grow wild in my front flower garden . I love the smell of ...it is so relaxing especially when mixed with the birdsong. And of course y'all know I like having my windows open as soon as the weather is warm enough. It makes the house feel so nice and helps lower the electric bill too.
My blackberry bushes are covered in blooms this year so I am hoping for a good crop.They are wild bushes so its a totally free crop :) I need to cover them as soon as the blooms are gone though so that the birds don't end up with more fruit than us. I would love to get some jelly and jam put up this year.
Well, have a pleasant evening everyone. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Saturday, April 28, 2012

its me ...again

Life is somewhat back on an even keel, at least for now. Life has been a whirlwind since my last post. DH was blessed to not have to have open heart surgery but there have been and will be many more doctor appointments to continue to treat his condition. With some follow up testing they now also believe he may have COPD.  We should know more about those results when he goes back to his PCP next month. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.
Life has taken many other turns that have just kept my heart and mind busy and my thoughts pulled away from this blog. I have continued on in nursing school. I received a wonder evaluation from my instructor on my Clinical performance. I just need to do well on my finals next week and I can then say I finished this first semester well. But the one thing that has consumed me and at times completely drained me is that we left our church that was our home for 13 years. I served as youth director and Drama Team leader there and served with DH Preacher in the JR church ministry. Although we had been praying for a while on whether or not to leave because of spiritual issues there,sadly, our decision to finally leave came about due to comments our Pastor's wife made to our oldest son. Like any teen trying to live the Christian life today, he struggles to do what is right and also to try and find his "place" among his peers. He is an outstanding young man who was saved several years ago but sometimes now he doesn't always make the greatest choices and that simply means he is human and sins like we all do. He was always being berated by the Pastor's wife and daughter with snide comments and derision not only at church but during school hours, often being openly mocked and ridiculed in front of other children. The final straw came when he made a choice not to participate in a choir competition for school because not only had they been practicing for just over a week , 3 days before they were to leave , the song was being changed for the third time.He told me he did not wish to look foolish in front of the other schools because his instructors couldn't get their head in the game months before and prepare them for the competition. His father and I gave him permission to not participate. When he informed his teacher (Pastor's wife) of his decision, she became very angry at him. Not long after, another classmate also chose to not participate for the same reasons as my son. The PW then proceeded to tell this student that he should make his own choices and be a leader not a follower because the one he was following (i.e. my son) would lead him straight to hell. Later at church that night she announced during prayer requests to pray for those students especially the one one who was leading them down that path to destruction. Now , my son may not be perfect but his judge is God not her. She has always been a gossip and back biter and sadly our Pastor has never set his foot down to put his wife's attitude in order. Over 12 families have left our church over the years due to things she has said and done to or about them and one couple even took her before the deacon board. I pulled my son from the school the next day when I found out what happened and we have not returned to that church. My son was very hurt over what she said to him and about him.And to make matters worse we found out that the PW is spreading lies about us to the congregation and her and her daughter are also bad mouthing my daughter and I to the youth and drama team. These are people we counted as friends. I know God has our back, and he has truly blessed us with good Christian fellowship and some spirit filled services where we have visited, which is something that had been missing for a while at our church, but still the pain of what is being done behind our backs is terrible. The choice to leave was hard to make but in the end it was best for our family. We have yet to find a church "home" but we know God is faithful and will lead us to the right place.
Again I apologize to anyone who does still read here for the long absence. As you can read, life has been a roller coaster ride for us. Keep us in your prayers. My daughter is in the process of making me a new template for this blog and I will be updating again. I just had to spend some time in my "shell" mulling over life. But I do have some good news, out of all the trials and burdens over the past little while, I have again been inspired to write. God has given me so many new things to put to paper. It has been like a dam burst and words and ideas have begun to flow again. I missed not being "able" to write devotions and things and I am glad He restored that joy to me. As I said before , keep us in your prayers and come back again. I'm getting that garden in next week :) I did have to wait after all for Winter to decide to leave and take the frost with him lol. Have a blessed day everyone!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Please Pray!

Well I promised an update on Monday but I have yet to get it done because something else happened that supersedes all other things. My DH Preacher was admitted to the hospital Monday with Peristaltic Atrial Fibrillation. It is a condition he has battled for 10 years. Monday his heart was racing at over 170 bpm. Finally about 4 this morning his heart converted back to normal sinus rhythm. During his stress test this morning his blood pressure bottomed out at 50/40. They finally got it back up and his doctor said his stress test was positive for blockage so he is being sent from the hospital here in Hixon (we were in Chattanooga visiting his family) to Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville. He will go by ambulance and I will drive up. For now we know that they will be doing a heart cath and possibly putting in stints. If stints will not fix the problem then open heart surgery will be the next step. Please pray for us. We ended up missing out on our youngest daughter's 12th birthday today. It broke our hearts not to be with our family today. The doctor is afraid Preacher will have a massive stroke or heart attack due to his condition so we are concentrating on getting him healthy again. We know that is the best birthday present we could give any of our kids. I will update more tomorrow and hopefully have a post with all the “catch up “details of the last few months since I have to do more than sit there and worry and stress and tie my hair in knots.. Thanks for reading and for your prayers. Blessings! ~ Nikki

Friday, March 16, 2012

2 months! are you kidding me...

i cant believe its been that long since i posted. there is an update coming i promise. so much has been going on but i will tell you all about it in a new post. look for it by monday night if you still read my blog.i hope to have it done by then.thanks :)

Friday, January 13, 2012


Yesterday was my first official nursing class.It was pharmacology. It went well. It wasn't as bad as I had been dreading it to be but then again it was day one. It was sunny and 66 degrees when I went into class at 12:30 but when I came out at 3:30 it had dropped 14 degrees and was raining.Guess what was on its way? Yep, snow. Temps kept dropping all afternoon and we had the weirdest thunderstorm right before it began to snow in earnest. We have had some very high winds all night too.We don't have a lot of snow on the ground right now but its still coming down If the wind dies off it will pile up quick.
I got my free Seed Savers Exchange catalog in the mail yesterday.I have just skimmed it so far but I'm looking forward to settling in with some pumpkin spice cappacino and looking through it. Like most of you, seed catalogs keep me going til Spring lol. I need to get a garden plan done so thought I know exactly what to order. What's going in your garden this Spring?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Snow Of 2012

Hope that everyone has had a wonderful start to their new year. Temps plummeted here yesterday and snow started flying. We just got a dusting but some places got several inches. The roads are kinda nasty in spots too. Our first snow and close to 0 wind chills call for the first fire of the year too. It feels so nice and warm in here. I dread going outside in the cold this morning but alas it must be done. I'm going to put it off as long as possible though:)
I have not made any resolutions this year but I do have some goals that I would like to accomplish. I will list mine below. Do you have any goals for 2012? Comment and let me know.
My Goals For 2012:
1. Read my Bible everyday
2.Memorize a new Bible verse every week
3.Be the best wife and mother I can be :)
4.Be running a mile by Spring
5.Do my best at my schoolwork
6.Be healthier
7.Stock my pantry well and be more prepared with needed supplies