The Last LAAFF?!?

2014 – Is this the Last LAAFF for Lex Fest?

Hopefully not! Although is has been declared over and done and this year will be the “Last LAAFF” there will be metamorphosis to the project with a larger group of directors and organizations including the businesses along Lexington Avenue, the very source of the fest itself.  I believe LAAFF proved in the shadow of its final bow, that it is a festival Asheville wants. Even though I didn’t get to stay as long as I wanted to it was as much fun as ever! Particular favorites for me were The Water Temple, Bike Races with a Dunk Tank finish, Asian Teacher Factory and of course all of the great artists, performers and just folks that dress up and come out to LAAFF. The people watching is always par excellence and this year was no exception! Here are a few choice looks from the day. You can find more photos from LAAFF on my facebook page here.

[*And a note to the future organizers, please don't scrap a good thing because of one bad year. There's no such thing as a last LAAFF.]



NC Science Fest at the Discovery Academy

Discovery Academy

NC Science I took the kids to the brand new Discovery Academy to check out the NC Science Fest this afternoon.  We should have gone earlier, the Geo Dome was sold out by the time we got there around 12:30. There was still plenty of fun science to try out though. We explored stations that focused on magnetism, microscopes and scientific measurement. It was extra neat to check out the new STEM high school that MJ has applied for. She was already walking the halls like she owned the place. Fingers still crossed for the application/ lottery process, wish her luck.

NC Science NC Science

Rainbow Catcher


When the kids were little I had a prism in the east facing window sill. It would cast a big fat band of rainbow that would track across the walls and floor for a few hours a day until the sun passed over the house. The girls and I would play a game where we would try to scoop up our rainbow “puddle” in our cupped hands and try to sip from it before it would disappear. If you could catch it and sip it rom your hands your wish would come true.  The prism is still in my east window here and most mornings it’s enough for me to watch it stretch around the room as I pass through on my errands, but some few other mornings, I can be found trying to catch it in my hand and get my sip.

Rainbow Catcher



…was nice and then the day just kinda went down hill. Cold, blustery and suddenly I had a mood to match. I declare today a do over, but tomorrow will be better. So let’s rewind the tape shall we?

Good Morning!


Magic in the Morning

Oops! Missed a day, but it was a weird one so whatever. Today is going to be magic because that’s what I’ll be looking for, common, everyday magic.  This means poking my nose into every flower pot and around every curious tree, inspecting the itty bitty and the grand. It’s going to require leaving my typical trails behind and seeking out some place a little new. To remind me to keep an eye peeled for magic all day I made this photo of my houseplant wizard this morning. He enjoys his miniature jungle setting and casting spells on new kids that come over and find him in there.  I love to hide fun little surprises around and among common things in the house and the yard. It just makes life more fun. Since I dropped the ball yesterday in the name of family & business & boogers in my head, today will have a second what I found on the other side of the day shot. Can’t wait to find out what that’s going to be.

Magic in the Morning


Happy Birthday to my Dad!

So I mentioned that January has a few bright spots for me. By far one of the brightest of those spots is my Dad’s birthday. I am so glad he was born! Here’s a shot of him doing something I know he really loves and would rather be doing right now, sailing.  Happy Birthday to you! Have a wonderful day, Much Love!


Last Saturday night was Leadership Asheville‘s Masquerade Gala at the Grove Park Inn.   What a fun and fancy time it was with great food, music, dancing, and silent auctions lasting late into the evening inside GPI’s gorgeous Country Club!   Loved seeing the amazing variety of masks that everyone wore and several were created just for the event by Murphy Capps of Kudzu Branding & Design.


More photos from the masquerade can be viewed here in my gallery:
Leadership Asheville Masquerade 2013

Easter Bunnies

Have you ever heard anyone questioning the validity of the Easter Bunny?  What’s the deal with all the chicks and rabbits anyhow?  Well if you haven’t been in a farm store lately and been deafened by the chorus of real life “Peeps” from the baby chicks they’re stocking then I have more evidence for you.

This morning, while the kids were out on their hunt for chocolate eggs, Cass pointed out a recent rabbit nest that showed up next to the garden a few days ago. As we peeked through the grass and fluff, we saw a pair of teeny new baby bunnies hoppin’ and kickin’ in their sleep.  This is what the Easter Bunny is really hiding in that new green grass!

Thanks to our lawn mowing friend David Hollifield for pointing out what to look for in the yard so we keep the mower well clear!  And thanks to this cool website: Help! I found a Baby Bunny! for a bunch of great info. about why they are fine just where they are and why the girls don’t need to “save” them and try to keep them as pets.


The Plot Thickens

Cass tilling the garden.  Even with a power tiller tearing up 30 years of lawn turf was no easy job.

A week later and we’ve put down a weed suppressing border of old shingles around the border of the plot and the onion sets are snuggled down in their row.

The Djinn of the Garden

OK! So it has been one long minute since I cracked the books on the blog.  After three years of regular daily posting I think I earned a vacation.  And it’s not like we haven’t been busy, heck no! Cass’s father moved in with us at the end of last year and of course there were adjustments in our lifestyle that needed to be made to accommodate that but by and large it’s a true joy to have him with us.  We’ve also been here at Hopeville for a year now so we were eager to get the garden plan rolling this season.

Pop is a project man and as soon as he had settled in we started talking about potential projects around the house and garden that we could start.  Since my last gardening interested adult in my family (my maternal grandmother) passed away when I was 11 I was eager to accept him as my gardening mentor and teach me the job as an adult from “the ground up”.

Part of our new garden project is the effort to grow year-round in the green house Pop designed and we helped build in the yard.  He’s still tricking it out with bells and whistles. I was hoping for two steps up from a cold frame, what we’re getting is a small gem of a solarium. And we’re eager for our plotted garden as well. While it is a veg. garden I have tried to choose some eclectic versions of your old steady varieties so we’ll be growing Purple PotatoesCosmic CarrotsRomanesco CauliflowerShallotsGeorgia Rattlesnake Watermelons and of course plenty of heirloom tomato varieties!!

So here’s what I’ve been doing for the past few months. Planting seeds with my family, watching them sprout and building our own small plan for sustainability here at Hopeville!

Here’s a time lapse video of us putting up the frame:

The Camel’s Hump

By Rudyard Kipling,
THE Camel’s hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.Kiddies and grown-ups too-oo-oo,
If we haven’t enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump-
Cameelious hump-
The hump that is black and blue!We climb out of bed with a frouzly head,
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know’ there is one for you)
When we get the hump-
Cameelious hump-
The hump that is black and blue!The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump-
The horrible hump-
The hum that is black and blue!I get it as well as you-oo-oo-
If I haven’t enough to do-oo-oo!
We all get hump-
Cameelious hump-
Kiddies and grown-ups too!
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