Whoa, its cold! On these bone chilling days, there's nothing better than to strap yourself onto a plank (or two) of wood & fling yourself down a cliff, right? All you skiers and snowboarders, if you agree with my last statement, visit Skisoutheast.com. You'll love it! This site is very informative and allows you to stay updated with each slopes condition. As you navigate the website, if you go to the "Community" tab and select "Powder Alert", you can enter to receive updates on the slopes you are most interested in. Or, you can click here, we made it easy for you!
You guys be safe out there and have fun! Don't end up like this guy...
Driving from Boone the other day we happened to stop by and check out the Chetola Resort, 15 minutes away in Blowing Rock, NC. I had no idea the history that this magnificent place possesses! The location dates back all the way to 1846. At first the property served as a home, then changed into a boarding house & summer resort called Silverlake. Nearly the end of the 1800's, a new owner purchased Silverlake and renamed it Chetola. Meaning "Haven of Rest" in Cherokee. Chetola earned its name for the new owner. He moved there having tuberculosis and his symptoms improved while being there. Ever since then it has been the place to recooperate and relax. In recent years it was purchased by a lady and her son. They have worked very hard to only change Chetola in ways that are conducive to its rich history.
All year long Chetola have activities going for the whole family that seem to be quite the experience. Spa stays, fly fishing outings, hiking, hunting, carriage rides, 5 star cuisine... I really don't think the list stops!
Courtesy of brmcblog.com
Right now, especially, seems to be the time to visit. During the Holidays, up until December 20th if you and your family choose to stay at the Chetola Resort you have the option to take a Christmas tree home! Its called the Choose & Cut package and it is sure to be a new family tradition. In addition to your stay, the package includes (weather permitting), a family hayride to choose your tree, free hot chocolate and snacks, and the choice of your family's very own Christmas tree. And guess what! The family doesn't even have to lift a finger. The employees will chop down the tree and mount it on vehicle for you! In addition to this wonderful package, Chetola goes above and beyond to create a the best winter wonderland you've ever encountered: Christmas carolers, Chetola festival of lights, and storytelling for the kids. Wow, I would love to be there!
Apple Stack Cake...Golly, those words bring the best memories back to my tastebuds. I believe most people have seen and eaten a piece of stack cake but just in case you haven't, I will tell you more!
An Apple Cake is a traditional cake baked in the Appalachians often in iron skillets before bakeries and Betty Crocker arrived. Many Sunday dinners after church and special occassions had an Apple Stack Cake on the table.
An Apple Stack Cake is 6-8 thin layers of molasses flavored cake with applesauce made from dried apples, apple preserves, or apple butter, spread between the layers. The cake is often dry, but after sitting 24 hours layered with applesauce, it becomes moist and delicious.
Wikipedia suggests that the Stack cake originated in Harrisbourg, Kentucky at the Beaumont Inn by the original settler, James Harrod. However, dried apple stack cakes and many variations have spread all through the Appalachians.
Also, Appalachian lore suggests that the stack cake originated as an Appalachian wedding cake. Guests would each bring a layer of cake and the brides family would recieve them and stack them together with prepared applebutter or other types of applesauce. Supposedly the more layers the cake had, the more popular the wedding couple were.
If you get the time, ask your Mom or Grandmother for an Apple Stack Cake recipe. You might have one that has been passed down for ages! If no one knows of one you could always try this recipe from About.com.
The hanging of a holiday kissing ball is the return of a centuries old idea. Here is a smidgen of history...
Back in the 5th century of Europe, branches or boughs, of greenery were pieced together in a circular shape and hung from ceilings & doorways. Often, along with the greenery, there would be a figurine representing baby Jesus or the holy family, symbolizing goodwill to all those who pass under it.
During the Victorian era, the kissing ball evolved into a combination of greenery and herbs. Along with a delightful scent, it was also said to bring love, courage, loyalty, good fortune, and fertility.
We still have the holiday kissing ball today. Only, it looks a bit different than it did years ago. It has evolved into mistletoe that we bind together and hang above doorways.
Thinking of making one like the old days? Well luckily for us, our wonderful mountains supply anything you would want or need to make a fresh kissing ball!
I thought I would take a shot at making my own Kissing Ball. I collected Christmas decor, a circular styrofoam ball, a coat hanger, holly, ivy, and branches from a live Christmas tree.
For starters, I attached the coat hanger to the styrofoam. Secondly, I cut the branches of pine into 6 to 10 in lengths and stuck them all around the styrofoam ball. Then I plugged in the holly and ivy in the bare areas. Lastly, I attached a bow to the top to give it the Christmas feel.
Once created, I had to trim it up to make it more circlular.
I decided to hang it conveniently over a bench in my front yard. Ya know, just in case someone would like a kiss.
I found some other Christmas kissing balls that artists have made. They are gorgeous! If you like them as much as I do, check out Etsy.com and search for them. There are all sorts!
Click on the pictures and it will take you to their shop.
The Mast General Store in downtown Asheville is one easy way to bring a vintage feel back into Christmas. From barrells of candy to wind up toys, a visit to a Mast General Store is sure to intice you to buy a memory from the past.
Mast General Store's were the go-to place for anything you needed in the good ole' days. Anything from food to tools. That is why they claimed "If you can't buy it here, you don't need it."
I snagged the picture on the right from the Mast General Store website and I hope you will be intrigued enough to check out more info. This picture was taken in the 1940's when the Fain's owned it.
Shortly thereafter, the Mast's bought it and renamed it. In order for any location to be gifted with the "Mast" name it has to be a building that is worthy of preservation. All the Mast buildings: "Date between 1883 - 1945, have ornate pressed-tin ceilings, and either restored well-oiled worn wooden floors or terrazzo that looks as though it was laid a century ago."
Here are some pictures of the store that I took recently. (Click on them to enlarge.)
This Christmas, when it
comes to finding your family memorable gifts, give the Mast General Store a try. Of course, the store has
modern things too... fantastic hiking
clothes, the best camping gear, goodies for the kids, cooking supplies... you name it! While you shop, don't forget to enjoy the antique items placed all around the store.
When I was up at my Dad's garden recently, I saw were he had been burying potatoes in the ground and I snapped a picture. It reminded me of a story about my Great Grandfather, Burly Azor Suddreth and thought I would share it! Hope you find it amusing!
Burly Azor II (aka B.A.) and Wayne Suddreth (My Dad)
Grandpa Suddreth was a logger and "white lightening producer". Two professions that conveniently worked well together. He always had white lightenin' for sale. One day he was burying his potatoes for the winter. As they did back then, to keep their potatoes from ruining, he dug a deep whole and had lined it with straw to store them. As he was tossing the potatoes in the hole, a friend came by and told him that the Revenuers were coming. Now if you weren't around back then, which most of us weren't, Revenuer's were law officials that tried to catch people who were making and selling liquor illegally.
When he got word that they were coming, he got all the bottles of white lightening and hid them under the potatoes. When the Revenuers arrived, Grandpa was working away, covering those potatoes. The Revenuers, who were persistent as always, looked and looked, around the house and barn but they never found that white lightenin'.
They said, "You sure have got some pretty potatoes this year." Grandpa said, "Thank you" and continued to layer hay, dirt and tin over his prize potatoes. The Revenuers got in their car and went on down the road. Grandpa kept his white lightening that day.
Add that extra touch to the Christmas cards that you send out! A co-worker and creative friend of mine, Marlem, has made flowers out of fabric that clip or pin to just about anything for the special ladies in your life.
Here are some examples...
If you are interested please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to get you in touch with Marlem!
This Veteran's Day, this may not be your idea of a dream machine but for our Veterans it may just be. Dream Machine's have been popping up here and there ever since 2010. Did you ever think that discarding your trash the right way could ever make someone else's life worth living?
I copied this from Dream Machine's Facebook in the "About Me" section: "In addition to being kind to the environment, each time you recycle in
a Dream Machine you are taking action to help support a disabled U.S.
veteran – the more bottles and cans people recycle in a Dream Machine,
the more support PepsiCo will provide to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, a national
program offering post-9/11 disabled U.S. veterans free education and
experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management.
On top of that, the intelligent kiosks are computerized receptacles
that include a personal reward system, operated by Greenopolis, that
allows consumers to earn points for every bottle and can they recycle,
redeemable for local discounts and coupons on entertainment, dining and
travel at greenopolis.com."
If you are interested check out: http://www.facebook.com/dreammachine. You can click the "Locator" button, to the right of "Likes" and another page opens so you can search for your nearest Dream Machine. Awesome? I think so!!
Storytelling is not uncommon in the Appalachians. You could ask most Appalachian people and they would be able to share a story passed down one or two generations. There are stories of haints (New word for the younger readers, look it up!), mad dogs and panthers. The back stories had usually come from a personal experience and they leave the listeners with creepy feelings.
There are many professional storytellers that travel all around to share their captivating stories. In "Our State: North Carolina" magazine they have featured many Storytellers that travel around. Some of them include Willa Brigham, Philip Gerard, Woody Durham, and Jeanne Robertson. These professionals have won Emmy's for their abilities in storytelling! I would love sit in on their stories.
Considering it is such a good day for storytelling, I figured it would be a good day to share a couple stories from Foxfire: Number 9.
"Ruth Holcomb: A long time ago, these people sent for this lady who was a midwife. The only way she had of getting to their house was to ride a horse. This panther came up behind her when she was riding to their house. She took off her scarf and throwed it down at him, trying to scare him off. It tore that scarf up and kept on coming. She kept her horse a-running and kept pulling off her clothes piece by piece, trying to stop that panther. When she reached the house where she was going she almost had all her clothes off and the panther was still right behind her."
"Jennie Arrowood: They said there was somebody that used to go across to Shooting Creek-- across that mountain over there-- and play the fiddle and make music for people. They said one time a painter (panther) got after him and he climbed a tree, and the only way he ever got down was to play the fiddle and scare it away. If he quite playing, it'd go to climbing the tree towards him!"
If you get a chance to listen to some stories past down from generations long ago, don't pass up the chance! You might just find yourself experiencing the best entertainment you've encountered in a long time!
Hurricane Sandy is moving in & boy this wind is a force to be reckoned with. It is most definitely time to whip out the scarves. I really love to crochet, so I have my fair share of scarves around the house. I was trying to think of something to add to scarves to make them a little more fun and I got it! Pom poms!
Here is Lydia, my daughter, I talked her into doing some modeling for her Mom; She is a fashionista! :) She matched the burnt orange scarf with a white jacket.
If you're not familiar with crocheting scarves, they are really easy to make and the entire project can be completed in a few hours. Below, I've got a few pictures to show you how to create some pom poms!
1. Your going to need yarn, scissors, a sewing needle, and a pom pom maker (who would have thought!)
2. Thread your needle, and start winding the yarn around the pom pom maker.
3. Cut around groove and tie off and then trim as necessary to shape them.
4.You can mix colors to make different designs. Then you can also use them to make hair bows, decorate pillows, attach to backpacks and more.