COWS: If you jingle, they will mingle.

Let’s face it. I’m a country girl and quite fascinated by these big old lugsome creatures. (Is lugsome a word? It should be.) Anyway … as a young girl growing up in Hancock County Georgia, I was always amazed by cows and their, well, lack-of-brightness.

Case in point. On our way to my school, we passed this beautiful green field with a gigantic red barn in the center of it. It belonged to Mr. McCroskie, a friend of my fathers.

Now, in this field were these beautiful brown cows. Now I don’t know the different types of cows, but these were big and brown and were always sort of standing around as if they were waiting for something to happen … like a circus, or maybe for one of them to get up and dance on their hind legs or something. I don’t know … they just always seemed as if something were ABOUT to happen and they didn’t want to miss it.

So one morning we drove to school and it was pouring rain. Sure enough, when we got to the pasture with the big red barn with the door flung open wide …. there were those cows, standing around the barn looking at it as if it were something marvelous. I was thinking all the while, “why don’t they just go inside and get out of the rain”? But Dad said that cows are so polite they’re letting the other ones go first.

By the way, when we came BACK by there after school, it was STILL raining and the cows were STILL being polite.

Anyway … when I was about twelve or thirteen, my cousins Ramona, Dennis, Jan and I all decided to walk to the store for Coca Colas in the little bottles and a Go-Go Bar (a shingle of gingerbread with pink icing on top). While at the store, it began thundering and lightening. We decided to cut across Mr. McCroskies pasture since we didn’t see any cows and assumed they were in another part of the field.

It was close to Christmas, and my cousin, Jan, had tied these little jingle bell things to her tennis shoes. Whenever she walked, they made this jingling sound that we all thought sounded pretty cool. We wanted jingle-bells on our shoes too. ANYWAY, so we were about half way across this field when we heard the thundering rumblings of many MANY large hooves. We turned around, and running straight towards us over the top of a little hill to our right was Mr. McCroskies cows .. all two hundred of them. It was like a galloping bovine rapture.

We took off running … leaving our GoGo bars and Coca Colas flying all over the place. And the harder we ran, the louder Jan’s shoes jingled and the faster those cows came at us. Finally, Dennis, realizing that it was Jan’s shoes they were after, screamed over his shoulder for her to “kick them jingles off”!!! She ran right out of those shoes and we safely managed to make it through the fence on the other side.

Now here is the interesting thing …. when we turned around to see how far back we’d left the cows, we were surprised to see all two hundred heads or so, surrounding Jan’s white tennis shoes with the little jingle bells on them. We surmised, since cows ALWAYS appear to be waiting for something to take place, that they were waiting for those shoes to get up and do something again.

I know for a fact that occasionally when we’d drive by the pasture, you could look across and see a cow or two still studying those shoes (which were never retrieved, by the way). I also know for a fact that later on we learned that Mr. McCroskie called his cows by using a big wooden stick with Jingle-bells nailed to it … that’s why they ran after us.

So anyway … that’s why I’m fascinated by cows. But only from a distance.

And no bells.

New Life in Great Smoky Mountains …

The view at the top of Half Acre Ridge, looking across the valley.

I have awakened many a morning completely amazed that I can now call this place home. The dream I had for ages has now been realized. I live in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Instead of write a long diatribe about how it feels, I’m just going to post a couple of photos of the places I enjoy most.

Soco Falls ….

Soco Falls was one of the most surprising hikes since I’ve been there. Hearing people talk about the rough path and the difficulty of the hike, naturally excited me and sounded right up my alley. So, I packed a day pack with water, an apple for a snack and laced up my hiking boots for the “long rugged” trek to the falls.

I drove about twenty minutes from my house to the pull off to Soco Falls. I was so excited and ready to hike. It was drizzling rain and I’d been told the trail would be slick and rocky. Didn’t care. I was ready to hike, so I scooted around the rail and onto the rocky path. Then I froze in my boots. Approximately one-third of a mile downhill from where I stood were the falls. It took me all of five minutes to descend the steep trail, stand in front of the falls and laugh my head off. I’d unpacked my gear, packed water and an apple for what took about five minutes to get to from the parking lot!

Still, it was beautiful. Double water falls tumble over an incredible rocky foundation. Ice was still clinging to the plants and roots around it and the forest around me was beautiful. Down the creek I could see tents along the banks of the river and wished I had packed a tent as well. After a while of taking it all in the rain began to really fall, but I enjoyed this venture very much.


The Cataloochee Valley ….

I believe my favorite place, next to my property on Plott Creek, is the Cataloochee Valley where one of the oldest settlements in the area used to be. The drive to the Valley is one thing, but getting out and really exploring the area is another! Cataloochee Creek is one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been.

Surrounded by Sterling Mountain, Nolan and Cataloochee which rises close to 6000 ft! Cataloochee fits its name perfectly. The Cherokee called this mountain Gadalutsi, which means “fringe standing erect”… and it truly does! The Cherokee gave up this incredible land in the Treaty of Holston in 1791, but continued hunting and trapping this rich farmland.

This place is one of the most serene places in the Great Smoky Mountains. Green meadows, sharp trails that climb upwards, 1 1/2 lane wide gravel roads, historic homes to explore that show their age through not only structure, but in the newspapers and wallpaper glued to the walls and ceilings. I could have stayed on the bright yellow back porch for hours just listening to the branch flowing and enjoying daffodils that have grown in the valley since the Palmers arrived there in 1854 to set up a farm that included cattle, sheep and various gardens that grew heartily in the dark rich soil.

Game was plentiful and they traded turkey along with an abundance of fur they trapped for luxury items such as indigo, salt, powder, lead, etc. The trading post used to be where the Ranger Station is now.

They were friendly with their Cherokee neighbors, who they protected and hid during the Trail of Tears around 1836. Because the area was heavy with wildlife such as panthers, bear, the Cherokee people taught them how to stalk and trap them for the skins. In turn, the settles traded tobacco, cotton, and vegetable crops with the Cherokee.

As for Me …

Me on the front porch of the cabin …

As for me, I’m quickly finding me feet and enjoying my new life here in Maggie Valley and the Cataloochee Valley … amazingly where my Davis ancestors first settled when they left Europe. It feels as though I’m living “in the family” circle in a way … retracing their steps and realizing my dream is not much different from theirs.

All About Ingles …

Each day I drive over to Ingles and buy a small plate of freshly created Sushi from Richard … “Rich” … who was a fisherman before he settled here. His stories fascinate me and his sushi is the best I’ve EVER had! He and his sidekick Freddy keep me up to date on local news and make me feel as if I’m a native here.

A card from my Dear friend Nessa who is a barista at Starbucks on Barber Blvd … just two miles from the cabin.

Nessa reads my blog but has become a dear dear friend. She remembered how the very first time I saw Waynesville, it was covered in snow. I fell in love with the town at first site and described it here on my blog. Sweet Nessa remembered that and tracked down a painting a friend of hers did of Waynesville in the Snow and picked it up.

Yesterday, she gave it to me and it was as if I was looking back at that moment when I fell in love with this beautiful place!

This Starbucks is located right inside Ingles … lucky for me! These people have become like a family to me. I started off with coffee, and then one day I was asked to try a Strawberry Acai. That simple suggestion changed the essence of my day! This one drink filled me not only with bounds of energy, but gave me a reason to revisit Starbucks day after day.

Even in the dead of winter when the snow was so piled up I’d have to crawl over it to get in the car, I’d be heading to Starbucks for this amazing iced drink! Then one day, I was offered something that one of the girls there actually crafted. It was a Peach infused Lemonaid/White Tea with just a bit of sweetener but loaded with ice! This is THE drink! I have one every day and it’s absolutely the BEST cold drink I’ve ever had in my life!

Me and Nessa ….

Now Nessa is one of the most precious souls I’ve ever met! I’m so blessed to have met her and know that I am blessed just to know her! It was just a lucky happening when we just struck up a conversation and realized how alike we are. She is a HUGE fan of the baby Hippo, Fiona at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio … and I’m an April the Giraffe fan. We both watched for hours during labor … I’m trying to get her interested in Ben Folds … and we have so much else in common!

So … here’s a peek into Nessa’s World:

The Fiona Show … and Fiona Videos

Thanks everyone for stopping in! I’m be posting very regularly now that I’m settled in!

Hugs-n-Junk!

Lynn

LOG CABIN CHRISTMAS

It’s been a dream for a long time, to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains in a log cabin … and after 58 years, it finally came true! This morning I sat in the living room and drank coffee while I watched the birds warming themselves in the bright sunshine on my porch railing.

  

The Chrstmas Tree is up …

The tree looks so jolly and happy in the living room!  The birds on the tree look as if they just flew through the front door to warm themselves! Once again, I have added the vintage ornaments inherited from family members! 

 

Table and stockings up the stairs …

The table has never looked more inviting with the stockings behind it going up the stairs.  I’ll have eight people here Christmas and wanting a stocking for each person, the mantle seemed crowded no matter how I arranged them.  It was Eric’s idea to run them up the stairs. 

Yesterday, I made a quick drive up to Serenity Mountain to see the property in Plott Creek where the permanent house will be built.  It was so peaceful and quiet that I didn’t exactly want to leave.  I walked down by the creek and looked up to where the house will be and couldn’t believe it all was coming into fruition. In my imagination, I could almost see the house sitting there in the trees … the noisy creek babbling at my feet.

After I got back home, I had some homemade rustic soup and called it a day.  ❤ 

Nite Nite!

House was rented from Select Homes in Waynesville, NC