Patti Edmon Altered Attic: April 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

North Carolina is the place to be...

The necessities for a fabulous cabin vacation include a scenic view, privacy in a wooded setting, ambiance, and of course, amenities A bit of research in the Asheville area uncovered Carolina Mornings, an agency with properties that offered just the right blend of comfort, quality and value.

We'd gotten a very late start - but that's another story (think Chevy Chase Vacation movies) - and the detour on east I40 meant a shorter albeit far more scenic route. So an hour past Knoxville the sun slid behind the Blue Ridge mountains like butta; we'd driven over the French Broad River, code name for my bladder; all of a sudden there was a tiny blink of a town, the only evidence of life was a noisy saloon that lit up the dark rural night. It was packed to the brim with rafters, kayakers, climbers and cheerful waitresses, one of whom pointed the way to the restroom. I must have looked like a mole, blinking and car-weary and the kids were getting antsy but I had to resist the urge to grab a chair and a frosted mug and slide up to a table of buff young adventurers. We vowed to stop in again on the way back but in daylight we never could find it.
An hour later, thanks to Garman, we finally reached Weaverville, another dark little town save one quick mart... milk, bread, water, eggs, cereal and a few other necessities. In walks the poet, the only reason why the station was still open. It was the night before his wedding and his bride-to-be had called ahead to see if 'George' would wait for the bachelor party, the solo guy, his dog, a cozy fire and the six pack of beer he'd come to pick up. We chatted, relayed the trials of our journey and he told a poem he'd written in the sixth grade about poop. We would end up crossing paths twice more during our week there.
So Garman told ups up the hill, up and up, and no sign of life but finally...

Hmmmm, is this our destination??

Nope, not like the photos on the internet.

Well, I'll be, could this be the one??

No, couldn't be... the cabin we rented had four bedrooms, not fourteen.

And then, just like Goldilocks in the Three Bears, we found just the right one.

This one is the perfect fit!

Sure enough, and was it ever perfect. The owners were ever so gracious and we extended our stay an extra night. North Carolina reminds me a lot of Kentucky, only more progressive in ways that are good for arts and tourism. Culture and class in charmingly quaint settings and every time I visit I never want to leave.

Dylan and Alice found the brand new hot tub in minutes and I instantly fell in love with the kitchen, i.e., hey, is this nicer than mine? No wonder I don't like to cook! The laundry room was so conveniently located off the kitchen I didn't mind throwing in a load or three.

And being up at such a high altitude must have played a role in my feeling better, almost normal, not stuck in the nasty flare that taunted my joints and drained energy and clarity of mind.
Nice dining room for a cabin...

Living room with a vaulted ceiling and one of the many decks, one right off the master suite, secluded with a lovely view and comfy chairs.

Every day we found a new adventure... the area is so blessed with vibrant downtown galleries, arts and restaurants, street musicians and fabulous food. We saw three families from home there and all agreed that a week wasn't enough.

And oh my, the shopping!

Our first trip was to Saluda Jane's, aka proprietress of Random Arts, where my blogging has its roots. Afraid she'd leave town before I had a chance to see her, we drove down the first day and revisited our favorites - the Saluda Grade Cafe, an antique shop, a few galleries and shops...

Then off to find Jane. She had a workshop in progress and when I peeked in the door I saw her on the other side of the building. I casually wandered through the across the sea of tables crammed with busy artists, who all looked up, of course.
But I just had to give her a quick hug and stock up a few favorites. One can never have enough wholey paper... in sheets, an assortment of cutouts and a great price.

She was showing a workshop attendee this gorgeous, sumptuous ribbon... click this link to see what Jane is up to and get some of your own - the price is right and opportunities are endless!

A couple of days later we stopped by a junk shop in Hendersonville and the owner remembered us from last time... maybe because, like then, Dylan wound up in the dungeon playing the drums while I found all kinds of goodies - from cigar boxes, porcelain dolls, frames, lace and books. I also stumbled upon a bundle of letters between a local woman and her husband who was a soldier in WW2... one of the letters begins, "My Dearest, I can't believe the war is finally over..." I can't wait to put them in order to I can enjoy their journey.

This time there was bongo drum in the window, along with tons of other 'stuff' and the owner heartily encouraged Dylan to get up there an play - he sounded great an attracted a lot of attention.

If you look behind them, you'll see what I mean when I say this is one authentic junk shop - Seldom Scene has nothing categorized and everything at a great price!

After we got back home I finally got my act together and shot some of the treasures I am anxious to start doing something with - even if it's trading. I'll do some high res scans of the photos and some documents and share as soon as I get to it!

I have SO much more to post - thanks for stopping by and sticking with me... this past few weeks has been very difficult with my arthritis, illness in the family and all the other stuff of life. Hope to see you again soon!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday to Nicole and Congrats to a lucky winner...

Do you know Nicole Campanella (Beadwright)? Her birthday is this month, she'll be turning... whocaresty-seven, and she's giving away the most amazing piece. You can click on her name to register and read all about it... but you'll have a thousand-word understanding of just how beautiful it is once you see the photos (she has more views on her site).

I haven't known Nicole long (since OWOH) but one of the things I love most about her is her strength. Tenacity. Keep right arting through whatever crisis comes her way. I need to have people, artists, friends like her in my life, to remind me when I haven't finished a two-weeks overdue project because I'm having a flare, or have to spend 14 hours in bed because it hurts too bad to get up, that there is beauty to be found in every situation. It might be the angel faces I can find in the distressed ceiling in my bedroom or a squeeze from my darling husband, a pal, my fourteen-year-old who would sit in my lap if he fit, a surprise in the mail... a delightful post like Nicole's, the amazing messages in the dozens of other sites I visit regularly.
Hop on over and register - you'll be glad you did!

I have so much to post that I don't know where to start. My goal is every other day until I'm caught up. I don't want to slip out of the loop, let myself down - I started my blog in April of 2008 and the connections it has allowed me are way too important (yes, that means you:)!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

A cabin in the woods is an ideal place to spend Holy Week; after the self-examination and contemplation of Lent the transition to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday were peaceful, quiet and, well, still introspective.
To be honest, I've always wondered about the meaning of 'Maundy' Thursday, so when I arrived home this evening I skipped over phone and email messages, delighted to read an insightful, wise post most excellently written by my pal, Rev. Pete Jones. He enlightened me (and many others I'm sure:) as he said:
"Maundy comes from the Latin word meaning, basically, commandment. More specifically, a new commandment given to the Disciples on the night of the last supper: You shall love one another as I have loved you. A new commandment. Love. Agape. Love so amazing, so divine, demands my life, my soul, my all. That kind of a new commandment."
I just love that.

My wily, uber-cool teens showed me where they wrote in the morning moisture and then waited to see the sun reach down and lift the words to the sky like prayers. Those two never cease to amaze me.

The sun set into the mountains at the close of Maundy Thursday - I caught this shot a tiny bit late. My daughter and I curled up under the quilt on the comfy bed in the master suite (of the nicest cabin we've ever stayed in!) and read the devotional that described the events written in the Bible about that evening. It has become a habit during the seasons of Advent and Lent, to read the scriptures and messages with one of both of my kids.
Alice's knowledge is impressive (again, thanks Pastor Pete, head of the camp where she has explored and found her own spirituality - and voice) as we talked about humility and grace, about Jesus washing the dusty feet of his disciples, even those of his betrayers. We also talked about how cool it would be and all the questions we'd love to ask if we had a chance to spend time with Him.

The many wonders of this long-overdue vacation were simple enough. Living downtown doesn't offer a chance to view the expanse of night sky embedded with stars, crystal clear and distinct no matter that they are ancient in formation and millions of light years away. And I admit that I seldom stop to study the amazing array of textures and colors... such depth in a small patch of tree trunk.

It's humbling to include those among the highlights... along with the shopping and browsing in such amazing galleries and shops. Asheville certainly knows how to take care of its own. The support for local businesses is a solid way of life rather than a trendy concept.
Next I'll post some of my favorite 'finds.' I'd say I was quite successful in my junking expeditions, boxes and porcelain dolls, a set of letters to and from a local woman and her military husband during World War II. How cool.
I hope your week has been creative, fun and meaningful. If you have read this post you have certainly made mine more rewarding. Good Friday and Happy Easter to you!


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