Thursday, October 16, 2008

Amazing Child Singer

This little girl from England is PHENOMENAL! I truly don't think I have ever heard a more amazing young singer. She brought tears to my eyes! Wow!!!

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (the singing starts at about a minute and a half into the video)

This is about the age of 7:

"And I Will Always Love You"

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Adventure

Well, this weekend I decided to take a little journey down the road with my Sally. What an adventure we had! It started out a bit shaky. I printed a map for our little expedition and I had determined that we could make a nice loop and enjoy some really stunning views of the fall leaves and the exquisite Blue Ridge Mtns. Well, needless to say, we did get our fair share of beauty...but I was a bit frightened a few times. So, what happened?

The first road of our trek started out well. It was a dirt road winding up a hillside with the occassional house coming into view. But this ended after about 1 mile. Soon, it was just me driving my little Honda Fit along a dirt road surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest. I was in the MIDDLE of the forest. Mind you, I love being in the woods...but I was alone (with my puppy), in unfamiliar territory, and in a car that is not designed for off road adventures. My first mistake was that I did not set my odometer to track my mileage when I started down this mountain road. You see, there was a sign stating that Paint Rock was a mere 5 miles down the road. Had I tracked my mileage from the start, I would have known that I was getting close. But the further I got into the woods, the more wary I, I found a space large enough for my little car to turn around in and back we went. At this point, the light in my head decided to go off and I reset the odometer. When we made it back to the bottom of the mountain, I realized we had gone 3.5 miles. How disappointing, if I would have just stuck it out a bit longer, we could have made it to the next road in our loop. Regardless, I did manage to see many gorgeous sites in the middle of the forest:

By the time we were out of the woods, it was only 10am and far too early to head back home. Sally was doing great and I did not want to pass up the opportunity to get some great photos. (I was quite impressed with Sally to be quite honest. She sat so nicely in the passenger seat, and occassionally on my lap for a little love.)

So, back to the story, I decided that we would try to find the other end of our loop, hoping that it was a safer route than the previous.

Oh happy day! The other section was indeed much safer than the previous, and amazingly just as beautiful. This time we were in the valley rather than atop the mountain.

As we traveled along the paved road lined by trees on one side and Paint Creek flowing majestically on the other, I felt as though I was in paradise. We drove for a good hour and a half along this road. We stopped to enjoy a small waterfall flowing into a natural pool which was bound by a massive rocky mountainside. Exquisite!

We continued, entering NC and the Pisgah National Forest, encountering yet another dirt road. However, this time, it was bordered by the mountains on the northeast and the French Broad River to the southwest. The river was stunning. I longed to be in a kayak, floating along with the current, being one with the water. (But, that will have to come at a later date.) Saturday, Sally and I just enjoyed the landscape that was so perfectly designed.

We ended our expedition at Murray Branch Recreation Area where Sally was able to wade into the river a bit when I enjoyed a rest on some rocks in the river. It was a fantastic day and I am looking forward to returning again this weekend for a longer visit.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Well, starting this off is quite difficult for me. I am not exactly sure what to write for my first post. So I will just begin by sharing some of my favorite quotes for a bit of reflection.

"You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses." I saw this in a Ziggy comic about 10 years ago and it has just really stuck with me. I think on some level it has become a motto for my life. I try to live my life seeing the benefit of every situation. I have been through many things that have been less than pleasurable but I have done my best to see that even those hard times have value and purpose. I think that is what pulls me through when the pain, frustration, and disappointment become overwhelming.

"It is never too late to give up our prejudices. No way of thinking or doing, however ancient, can be trusted without proof. What every body echoes or in silence passes by as true today may turn out to be falsehood in tomorrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields. What old people say you cannot do you try and find that you can. Old deeds for old people, and new deeds for new." - Thoreau

"It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is." - Hermann Hesse

"It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well." - Rene Descartes

Also, I am really enjoying the beautiful colors that are gracing the Blue Ridge Mountains right now. Just walking around my yard inspires me to get back to my photography hobby, which I have shelved for many years.

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares drop off like autumn leaves." - John Muir

Until next time,