Friday, September 25, 2009

Know anyone in New York??

I'm going to New York!!

Looks like we will be there October 13th - 18th. Nick will be working the night shift (and sleeping half of the day hours) for most of the trip, so I'll be on my own mostly. I'm researching things to do by myself, but I would really really like to find a fun person(s) to hang out with so it's more fun (and safer). If you know of anyone in New York that would enjoy showing me around a little, that would be awesome.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Meditation, new Work Space, and a Concert

This journey, at least in my mind, is multi-fauceted. One being the exploration of art, but also the exploration of new ideas and ways to live. We all desire to be healthy. Healthy of mind and body. A lot of us desire for improvement. Self improvement, more specifically. But improvement in the quality of life, too. I desire to improve myself in ways that might bring me and those around me, more peace, happiness, and enrichment. Wow. That seems like a much taller order now that it's in front of me in black and white (or black and green, same diff).

In my journey, I see meditation as part of the equation. Nick and I are also looking for ways to become a part of the community here and meet new people. So... Monday we joined a meditation class. It was held in a ladies home. There were 9 of us there. (Nick being the only male and the only one who admittedly had never "meditated" before.) I enjoyed it. I felt like I was visiting friends because I was welcomed into her home and we all sat around expressing what we think and feel/experience. It was a very comfortable setting. I would love to continue with it.

We also had the idea of joining a square dance class at a fun venue. Just so happens, it's on Monday nights, too. We have also heard of a class on Thursday's somewhere else. So maybe we can do both.

Alright....................... ON TO YESTERDAY. (what a neat phrase)
Yesterday was great! We did a little thrift shopping and I found these beautiful glasses I some how managed to resist buying.

We actually need glasses, but they are shorties. (If they are there when I go back, though...) Picked up some fall colored fabric.

AND I finally got a table to paint on. (while I waited for it to be loaded on the car roof, I took some fun pics of a vintage sofa that someone made a little more appealing by coloring in the flowers.)
Brought it home and set it up right away. There is already an explosion of inspiration all over it.

this is my work space.

Then last night, we went to a concert at a venue (that use to be a skating rink) called the Orange Peel. If you come to Asheville, check it out. The name of the group is called Ten Out of Tenn. They are 10 separate singer/song writers that have their own CDs/music as well are in other bands. One guy tours with Keith Urban (I believe it was) and another girl tours with Jewel. They were awesome!! Worth every penny. They each took turns singing while the rest played guitars, keys, harmonicas, tambarine, etc. After the show, they came down onto the floor (all 10 of them) and we gathered in a circle around them, and we all sang together. So much fun. They offered a bundle deal where you get all 10 of their individual CDs plus the groups' CD. So we got them. YAY!!

11 CDs and the event poster (snatched off the wall as we were leaving, of course :)


I also want to share some pictures of some artwork that Nick recently purchased from some local artists. The first two are artists' work we saw in an large exhibition a few weeks ago and these two artists' were my favorites. This one is an original and in our bathroom right now. Deona Fish

This one has a really neat message. It's titled "Never give up" (a print) by Sarah Faulkner and pictures a country fence. The fence posts are wood strung together with wire, and one of the fence posts has sprouted a branch and is growing into a tree again. We hung it on one of the wood beams.

This last painting is one he was intrigued by. Its an original and titled "the birds and the bees". The artist incorporated the wood knots into her painting, leaving bare wood showing. And the curly lines you see on it are actually words strung together.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

my Bday + home in the barn

I had a lovely birthday in the Outer Banks. I started off the day checking out the one thrift store in town. Nick got to parasail for the first time and loved it.

I had a long relaxing massage, so much so I kept falling asleep. I even did the big jerk right before you fall asleep, and woke myself up. We had a nice dinner that ended with a beautiful sunset.

The weather was beautiful during our stay there, however the very last day was the sunniest. Understandably, we were reluctant to leave :) but none the less, enjoyed our time there.

We made it back to Asheville Saturday night in time to crash. Sunday we spent the day cleaning! Monday, Nick spent the day in a coffee shop working and I got my first chance to navigate myself around town. Thank goodness for gps. The roads here are crazy. One road curves into another road and then into another road and you've only gone a few blocks. Some of the streets don't even have street signs. I feel I only know a very small portion of this city so far, but have not pieced it all together yet to understand the big picture. Of course, I can tell you where all the thrift stores are. :D Oh, and a couple Aldi stores, too.

So we have a few furnishing for the house. We are trying to only buy a few things since we are not going to be here very long and don't want to take it all back with us or have to worry about loosing a lot of money donating it back. So my first task was searching for the few furnishings we need to live here comfortably while we are here. We are still sleeping on an air mattress and don't have a couch yet... so still have a few things to get. But, moving on to the next task of making curtains for this huge space. Our landlord gave me some scrap material to use and I have gotten a little myself. So I have 8 sets of curtains to make. Yikes! I definitely need more material. Good thing I brought my sewing machine. Nick's got a good idea to just do them fast and messy and funky, and not worry about making them perfect. I think he's onto something. I need to get my nesting done and on to more fun things. Like PAINTING!!!

So once I feel we kind of have this place "finished" a little, I'll take some pics. In the meantime, picture a huge room with a couple chairs, a lamp, some huge frames on the floor, an end table and my sewing machine on a table. There you have it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

the Outer Banks

Since we are homeless this week, we decided to spend it away from Asheville. We woke up Monday morning and said to ourselves..."where do we want to go?" We checked the weather all over the east coast. Friday is my birthday and I want to do something unique and fun. A hot air balloon ride has been on my bucket list since I was a kid and thought this would be a great way to celebrate. So then I started searching for Hot Air Balloon Festivals. I think a sky filled with balloons is just so beautiful. There are a few going on in the US on friday, but we didn't want to drive all the way to TX, etc. There are quite a few out east closer to the end of the month. But hey, your birthday is your birthday. AND it's on a Friday this year, too.

We still hadn't decided for sure where we were headed, but figured we better start headin' there. :) So we decided to head to the coast, possibly the Outer Banks. I had never heard of the Outer Banks before. Nick drove first and I was on the internet researching the different islands. What the differences were, and so forth. I was even looking at cheap last minute flights to where ever. We decided on Hatteras Island, NC.

We love B&B's so we looked into those. We didn't make it to town til almost 9pm so we decided to check into a hotel/motel (with good reviews) at least for one night then check out the B&B's the next morning. The bed ended up being more comfortable at the hotel, plus an awesome view of the ocean, pool and hottub, walk right down to the beach, full kitchen, and great price (deal for staying so many nights). So we are staying in the hotel the whole time. And we are staying til Saturday so I'll be here for my Bday. So if anyone wants to come surprise me, ha ha, you know where I'll be.

Nick is working this week with hope of getting some time off Friday to spend with me. I spent the first day being lazy by the pool and at the beach. Yesterday we road our bikes to this old light house that had 257 steps up a winding staircase that we got to climb to the top. Pretty neat. Neither of us are afraid of heights and we did fine climbing it. But a short while after it was all done, we were walking around the museum next to it and we both admitted our legs felt kind of wobbly for some reason. I figure it was the excitement mixed with the exercise that caused it.

Then last night we went for a hike in a coastal reserve. It supposedly took us to the top of a sand dune where we could look down into a "interdunal" pond with lots of wild life. It was so over grown that I didn't even stop to look down because I was sure that could not be what they were talking about. It was a nice trail all the same.

Today we are going to take a ferry (car and all!) to the next island down, and spend the day in a quaint little village there called Ocracoke. I'll be shopping while he works in a coffee shop (for the most part).

Friday we are going parasailing (no, hot air balloon rides available :( ) in the morning, I'm getting a 90 minute massage in the afternoon, and then a yummy diner that night. I haven't found any live music (other than karaoke) that night. I'll keep trying.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

the jury's in....

Well, I wasn't born in a barn, but now I get to live in one! YAY!!!
We have committed, but there is still some renovating that needs to be done. We should be able to officially move in near the end of next week. I'm hoping Thursday so I can wake up there on my birthday. We already bought some furniture today and are storing it in the barn's attic. It's a big space that might look a little empty. I'll do my best to make it fun and homey. I'll post pics of the place once we move in and have it set up.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Asheville, NC

Sunday we drove from Arkansas, across the entire state of Tennessee, to North Carolina. We stopped in Nashville to have dinner and walk around downtown. There was live music coming from most of the doorways we passed along the way. This wall was found in Nashville, although Johnny actually grew up in Arkansas in a town now named Cash.

Sunday night, we made it to North Carolina. We stayed in a neighboring town with a distant family member for a couple nights.

Monday morning was our first introduction into Asheville. We sat at a local coffee shop/cafe all day = me searching for and emailing about places to stay, and Nick was working. We have checked out quite a few places, and hope to make a decision tonight. *fingers crossed*

Just for fun, I've included some pics and links of places we've looked at this week. This first one had a river flowing in its "front yard." We would have gotten the whole house to ourselves. It was furnished and had a loft bedroom. It was pretty remote so we decided for our first time here, we'd get a place closer to Asheville.


We filled out an application on this next one, but someone beat us to the punch. The pictures don't do it justice. There is a new, really nice wood garage door on it which we could park in but... its where the washer and dryer is and I'd planned to use it as a studio. The upstairs apartment is small, but very charming. Nick and I were both sold on it right away.

Today we looked at an awesome space that is actually in a BARN.


The owners just bought the place in June and have already had quite a bit of work done. They had 2 bedrooms put in. There was already a kitchen, but it is currently getting a face lift. It has a huge open space with a really tall ceiling, new picture window so lots of natural light, really neat beams throughout. The living space is the middle floor in this 3 story barn. The upstairs was previously used as a greenhouse but the new owners put in a wood roof to use it as storage (which we could share, but won't need it). The bottom floor is used as a work shop with work benches and tools, plus more storage space. It use to house cows so half of the space has an odd concrete floor (that's the storage side). We are also allowed to shared the workshop area.

Needless to say, we filled out an app on it today, too!!!

oh, and did I mention that the main house use to (and will again after renovation) function as a bed and breakfast!?! Besides lots of room in the barn with us, you all could come stay in the bed and breakfast. :D shows the whole property (b&b, etc.)


We have one more place to look at tonight. Its a community living arrangement and we are excited to meet them. They are artists and computer people, too. We haven't seen any pics of the space yet so here is some info on them and the place instead. "Our interests/hobbies include Chinese medicine, herbalism, natural building, clay, weaving, drawing/painting, hiking, camping, potlucking, stories around fires, learning..." Info about the house: the basement apartment is the portion of the house that is being rented out. "It has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen and living area. Floors are stained concrete (SoyCrete), warm clay color. Pretty morning light, garden space just outside, partially wooded, private parking just outside."
"Natural, Gaia-conscious household. Organic gardens, herbs and fruits and veggies in the plans. Some established. Composters. Prefer vegetarian house. No smoking. Cob oven in the plans too. ...
Would like to have occasional potlucks and sharing of goodies."

**It would be nice to make some instant friends here that can introduce us to the area, and share common interests.

It might end up being a really hard decision to make if they want us and we are accepted for the barn space, too. We could only be so lucky!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I am going to do 2 separate posts today. Let me start with our week in Arkansas.

hmmm... we played lots of games and cards, ate tons of food that is not in my normal diet, saw a good talent show at a county fair (need to remember the name Isaac Epps), received about 50 mosquito bites, got to know Nick's mom pretty well, went to Memphis for a day, and got some bike riding in.

Wednesday was spent in Memphis. We found a bookstore for Nick and then his mom and I hit the thrift stores. She got quite a bit... clothes and shoes. I ended up with just this shirt. $2 :)

I did however have fun trying on this orange (with white mini polka dots) Lavern and Shirley jumper.

Going into Memphis, we crossed this bridge which spans over the Mighty Mississippi. (Nick took this pic with my phone while I was driving.) The pyramid you see is made of glass and actually stands

We spent the evening on Beale Street. Come to find out, Weds is Bike Night. We got some yummy drinks from a place called Wet Willies. There were probably 20 or more frozen drinks ready to go in slushy-type machines. I had a banana split = white russian (frozen, mind you), banana, and strawberry.

We sat out side for awhile people watching and listening to music coming from all different directions. We ended up in Rum Boogie listening to good blues flavored cover band.

Nick taught me how to fix a flat on my bike.

There is a really neat state park called Village Creek that the 3 of us went on some mountain bike trails. A lot fewer spiders and spider webs than the hike we did at the beginning of the week. Nick flew through it while his mom and I were close to the same speed and skill level.