Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Great Adventure

Can I just say how much I love my GPS? It's made my life delightful.
I depend on it totally, which I know is wrong - but just let me enjoy the honeymoon.
It hasn't failed me yet, and if I'd listened to it on Monday, I wouldn't have ended up in Michigan accidentally.
More on that later.

I felt that our trip to Tennessee was a pilgrimage in a way.
About a month ago, I woke up thinking of all my family members in the South that I hadn't seen since 1978. I felt we needed to go. I called my sister and she said at that very moment she was thinking the same thing.

We were visiting my father's side of the family. He was born in Murphy, North Carolina. My mom was born in Cosby, Tennessee. I loved going back to where they were from.

Tennessee is BEAUTIFUL.
North Carolina is FABULOUS.
I miss the mountains.
Indiana seemed exceedingly flat and boring on the way home.

One of my very favorite moments of the trip was when Aaron, standing in my Aunt's house said "I never realized my family was so big, I feel like I'm home"
It was a pilgrimage for him, too.

We spent a day in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
I liked Gatlinburg much more than Pigeon Forge.
All that touristy stuff just isn't up my alley.

I'm more drawn to the landscapes, the old farms, the quiet trails.
Where the only thing you shop for is serenity, and the night life is fireflies.

Aaron got to see the dams that his great grandfather helped to build.

Above all, this trip was about family.

I felt a little nervous, considering I'd not seen most of my father's side of the family since 1983, and some as early as 1969.
Would it feel like visiting strangers?

Does she look like she'd be a stranger to anyone?
My sweet Aunt Mae.

She would have a fit if she knew this picture was on the World Wide Web, but I couldn't help but to share it. It's priceless!

Her home was filled with memories of a long, happy life.
She said, "Gary (her son) keeps telling me I need to get rid of half this stuff, but I just don't know which half to get rid of.".

The entire family was so welcoming and accommodating.
If you are reading this - thank you!

Most of the time was spent laughing until we cried.

Aaron fell in love with my cousin Vickie's dog, Buddy.

We plan on returning in October.
Life is too short to let so much time go between visits.

I returned home on Thursday night.
I was still sick. I was sick when I left with an upper respiratory infection.
I had no voice for two days while I was there.
Me without a voice, is kinda like Dolly Parton without a wig.
It just don't happen.

It was good to see everyone when I got home.

My bees were quite busy.

Claudanne learned to fly whilst I was away.
She flies out of her pen everyday now and follows me around the yard.
She dabbles my feet and legs.
I love her to bits.
Isn't she gorgeous?
Maude hasn't taken to flying yet.

My chicken birds still delight me to no end.

The new banty hen, Phyllis, has become my dearest friend.
I've separated her from her babies, I'm not really sure why, but she's a much happier hen now. She is seriously a walking yard ornament.
I adore this bird. Adore, I tell you!

Now, let's talk about what I brought home with me from Tennessee.
I warned you.

I've really been hankering for some guineas.
My aunt had one walking around her yard, and I just had to have it.
My cousin brought me to a lady he knew that raised chickens, quail, guineas, turkeys, etc.
She really liked my purse, by the way.

So, I bought two turkey babies, two polish chicken babies, and then a guinea from another man that we found. Her guineas were all spoken for.

I was on a guinea quest.
I carried the one baby guinea in my bra for two days. I really wish I was joking about this, but I'm not. It was all alone, it didn't seem like it felt well.

When I called Glen on the way home, he heard the baby chickens and turkeys and inquired about them.

"I hope you have a plan" were his words.
"Oh, yea, yea, I have a plan, " I replied.
I had no plan.
Not even a clue.
Where would I put the turkeys and guineas??

Friday morning, I woke up here at home, relapsed - sick.

There were weeds everywhere.
Boxes of baby chickens everywhere.
(Remember the four I bought BEFORE going to Tennessee?)

I just had me a mini-meltdown.

I made a decision, and called my neighbor up the hill that is more set up for large amounts of poultry. She came and got four chickens (the new black ones) and the turkeys.

Talk about breaking my heart.
I feel better now though, more under control.
I can get more - later - when I'm ready right?
I've GOT to stop putting the cart before the horse.

That brings me to Michigan.
On the way from LaPorte, Indiana, where I found a man selling guineas (I got six more, that makes seven guineas in case you've lost count), I pushed 'navigate home' in the GPS.
In my defense, I was talking to my friend, and it was raining - but the next thing I saw was:

Welcome to Michigan.

I don't live in Michigan.

Let's change the subject.

The garden is looking lovely.
It's where I'm at if I'm not sleeping, homeschooling, eating or going to the bathroom.

The strawberries are coming in now.

Aaron is sick with swimmer's ear in BOTH ears.
He gets this every year when the pool first opens.
Poor little dude.
I snapped this picture this morning - things are filling in nicely. This week is 'do or die' I have to get everything planted, seeds, etc. Then it's just a matter of keeping it weeded, watered and fertilized. I should have plenty of time to spruce some things up as well. I'm really not that stressed about it. Ask me if I am next week, if I don't finish what needs to be done this week!

And last, but not in the least, least - my niece Miranda and sis-in-law Sherie stopped by for a visit on Sunday.
Miranda drew this for me - said it was me.
How cute is that?
I'll save it til the day I die.


  1. I have been checking in hoping you would have a post up! Okay your aunt is precious. Just precious. She looks like my family. Every Saturday night my mom would roll my grandmother's hair for church Sunday. She would wear a little cap also.

    Guineas?!!!! I have heard they are so loud. I can totally relate to the one in your bra though. It is called Chicken Attachement Therapy. Oh yes, if it hasn't been written about it needs to be! I have three in Chicken Intensive Care right now. I think they are ready to be moved to a regular room (pen) though.

  2. WE just love Gatlinburg too...something about those mountains and streams. You just don't want to leave.
    So happy you got to visit family but wish you had felt better. Please rest and get well my dear. You do way too much.
    Love the picture too..it's so cute.

  3. So glad you are home, safe and sound. Glad you had such a wonderful time with family...those memories you made will be priceless in days to come. Just think in October you will get to make more!

    Loved all of the beautiful pics in today's post, Jayme.

    Welcome home!

  4. OH jayme girl....what to say...
    oh yeah...WELCOME BACK!!!! and what a herd...a pack...um....a flock... a passal...um...a carload of creatures must have come driving up your drive. I wished I could have seen your Glenco's face...LOL>>>>>>>> You are so like me I can't stand it...I'm just sittin' here shakin' my head. Glen will not stay home and take care of the homestead any more unless you promise not to come back with any more creatures in the car than you left with...and of course, like me ...you will find a way!! ( a uhaul trailer )
    Guineas...okay. my granddaddy had them. They laid smaller eggs, very hard shells, tasted different...and those birds are louder than sin. maybe not as screaming as a peacock, but they can come close...You might invest in some really good earplugs if you keep them...okay...nuff said.
    They tend to roam to the neighbors sometimes too, so be aware...
    Your family sounds great. Good down home people who know how to have a hoe down home grown fun time and keep it lingering longer than the hangovers of the other side of the hills that drinks too much "recipe" at their parties..
    So glad you guys followed your gut feelings and just DID IT! What fun and memories (well except for the sickness and now the swimmers ear.) ouch Jonny always got that too. PAINFUL! Hope he feels good enough soon to post some good pics I know he must have taken...
    So good to have you back. and glad all your animals and babies were in such excellent care. YOu have a golden dude honey there. Don't you ever let go of him. When we got keepers, we gotta love em good!
    Hugs and Hugs.

  5. Nothing wrong with loading a vehicle with feathered friends... nothing at all. My dad once loaded a pony into a car... another story for another day though.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  6. Jayme, I'm glad you made it back safe and sound and that you had such a wonderful time. Yes, Tennessee is beautiful, we live pretty close and really enjoy taking trips there every once in a while. How close were you to Alabama when you were there? The girls and I are heading out tomorrow and we are so excited about our trip. Haven't seen my most of my family and friends in three years!
    Hannah used to have swimmers ear pretty bad. We were told to mix alcohol and vinegar (I believe equal parts) and put a few drops in her ears after swimming. Kinda "blow dry" the ear a little bit and voila, no more swimmers ear. Maybe Aaron could give it a try...
    Have a wonderful summer!

  7. Hey! I live in Michigan! You could have just stopped by, even for just a minute!!!

  8. Don't feel bad about unintentionally going to Michigan. A few years back we were heading to South Bend with the kids and before we knew it, we were on a back road and saw a sign that said Michigan State Line. I thought my sister, who lived in Michigan at that time, would hyperventilate cause she was laughing so hard.

  9. I'm tired just reading this post!

  10. I'm glad you're back! You had quite the adventures, I knew you would. Your kinfolk are lovely and the pictures are beautiful. I'm glad you had a great time. Your garden is gorgeous. Good luck with all the critters and I hope you're feeling better soon.

  11. Well...I hope your respiratory infection is not from ...hmmmm....birds!!....Just sayin...birds in bras cant be healthy.
    The only thing about my Garmin that i dont like is when she starts getting to ..the less than a mile ...ex: "In point 5 miles"..hard to understand sometimes

  12. Claudanne! Lordy, I thought you had taken to naming the BEES for a moment, there... I thought, "Bees have to learn how to fly???"

    Go on, shake your head.

    This was a beautiful post, Wiper. I loved every single word and pic. You look really pretty in that laughing photo and your aunt is the cat's pajamas.

    And I now want to go shopping for serenity.

  13. You always have me laughing!! I'm working on this week...now I have a baby girl! I'll have to beg her mama to let me drive her to your place. She has a thing about babies in the car...and she can, b/c she's her mama! ;)

    Hope Aaron is better soon and glad you're feeling a tad better! Your plate is so full, but your garden is DIVINE! I'm getting 4 yds. of garden rich topsoil delivered early Sat. AM. Guess what I'll be doing that afternoon?? I don't have seed one in the ground yet! I'm going with several plants this year I'm thinking. IT looks like summer has arrived and my garden plot is still wet...too wet to plant! UGH!
    Talk to you soon.

  14. I am glad you had such a great trip. Boy, feathered girls sure are addicting aren't they? I was at my daughters house last week helping her out, and she has five Peking ducks. She just got them as ducklings shortly before I got my chicks and they are almost full grown. They waddle all around the yard as a group. So sweet. I want me some ducks. Hubs says nope not this year. I will probably post about the chicks later this week but I have one little girl that always jumps up on my knee when I squat down to talk to them. Makes my heart melt. Addicting. Of course you know I live in Michigan and would have been happy to offer the guest room to you. Have a great week!

  15. Welcome home, Jayme! So happy to hear you had a wonderful time getting back to your roots, reconnecting with your past. The guinea looks like he had a lead in the Elephant Man: I am not an animal. I often think of you tending to your garden when I am busy tending to mine.

    Your Friend,

  16. Jayme! You always AMAZE me and give me giggle fits! You just HAVE to get yourself back to 100%- you are PRICELESS! I KNOW how to avoid swimmer's ear! Every time you get out of the pool you put a few drops of this is each ear...keep it in a little bottle capped tight...apple cider vinegar with a few drops of rubbing alcohol. It works perfect! HUGS to you!

  17. I really enjoy your adventures...so much fun! And LOVE the garden scarecrow. We always make a "gal" too...we call it a Scarecrone!

  18. Several thoughts come to my mind while reading your blog today:

    1. We are hoping to go to TN this summer sometime for an "official" family vacation. My husband wants to go to Bristol to the Nascar races and I want to see the beautiful sites. Is Gatlinburg (sp?) anywhere near Bristol, do you know? I'm not up for the "tourist-y" spots either, I want to see beauty and am looking for a place like that when we go. I have never been to TN.

    2. I want guineas too, about 4-6. Can you just throw them in with your current chickens? Would be get along? I only have one chicken house and not sure if I could mix them up like that or not. How do you handle it when you bring home new fowl? Do you have multiple places to put them or what?

    3. When I was preparing to get my first chickens (in April) I read some very wise advice: "Don't bring the fish home, 'til you have the fish bowl". lol It was hard, but I followed that advice.

    4. Your garden is just gorgeous....I want to be like you when I grow up!

  19. I never knew you home schooled. We home schooled, too - but my baby graduated last year. I'm not finished, though. I now teach a home school photography class for other kids in our area.

    And Aaron is quite handsome. I bet he was a big hit with all of your relatives. I love the curly hair!

  20. Thank you for taking us on a lovely trip with you - I enjoyed every moment, specially the fowl stories - teehee!

    Hope everyone feels better soon... gardens can be overwhelming when they decide to grow an inch a day. Tell me about it!!!

  21. I have missed you. I have missed your blog posts that always make me laugh! Sounds like a wonderful fun-filled road trip with your sissy and Aaron. Life IS short and family is important.

    I know you will be able to get those weeds pulled and enjoy your garden. Love the nicely dressed scare crow.

  22. Oh Aunt Mae is adorable! What a sweet thing.
    Your garden is absolutely gorgeous. Mine is weed infested - the weather has been so horrible I haven't been out there for weeks. Disaster. And so cold, I can't put my greenhouse babies out either.
    Strawberries - delightful.
    Welcome to Michigan - hilarious.
    You never disappoint, Jaymes.

  23. Jayme, IN YOUR BRA? ohmigoodness!
    I too, love North Carolina and TN. I too, love Gatlinburg more than Pidgeon Forge. PF=YUCK! Why is there ALWAYS a car show there? Did you honk in the tunnels like I told you to?
    Welcome home! Cheryl

  24. Jayme, IN YOUR BRA? ohmigoodness!
    I too, love North Carolina and TN. I too, love Gatlinburg more than Pidgeon Forge. PF=YUCK! Why is there ALWAYS a car show there? Did you honk in the tunnels like I told you to?
    Welcome home! Cheryl

  25. How I love to live vicarously through you! The trip to visit family was so good for all of you, something about gluing all the parts together. Sorry all of the fun took a toll on you but the farm will fix what ails you in no time! Guinneas rock, they keep the snakes away grandma used to say...

  26. So I'm late on this read, but what a lovely post! Those pictures of the mountains of the eastern side of the US...aren't those lovely. My parents live in NC now and I LOVE going there.

    Also, WONDERFUL that Aaron felt "like home" when he met all the family. That is terrific.

    Sorry for the sickness, I hope you're feeling better now.

    PS - Today I went to someone's house to help clean before they move tomorrow...can I just say I almost threw up in grossness like seventeen times, and I thought about you and how you have your cleaning routines that now I'm doing some of in our house, and I thought, "Thank heavens for people who know how to clean." And that's all.

  27. Wonderful story and pics of your trip, Jayme. I just ♥ Aunt Mae! Hope you and Aaron are both feeling 100% soon. Stop by to see my finished coop and li'l chickies when you can take a breath! -Tammy p.s. With every post you inspire me. THIS one I remembered that I need to dress my scarecrow. Her clothes rotted off last year :( Love yours!

  28. I just adore your scenic view. Just adore it. Your coral bells look much better than mine. But then this is Texas, and it's damned hot. I'm so glad you had a great time. Enjoy that gorgeous yard this holiday weekend.

  29. Beautiful! I miss NC...used to live in Hendersonville...sniff...sniff...boo hooooooooooooooo

  30. Your trip sounds like it was downright heart warming Jayme! It's so nice to get back in touch with where you come from, to be a part of something bigger.

    When I dream of having chickens, carrying them around in my bra was never part of the dream.

  31. Jayme, you were so close to where I live! I love the townsend side of the smokies even better than gatilinburg. It is known as the quiet side.

  32. Jayme, I was wondering how you made your signature with the rooster for signing your posts. I love it and would love to add it to my blog

  33. Oh boy! Guineas! I love guineas. My grandmother had them. I love the noise they make. Wish I had some guineas.

  34. What a wonderful post. So much to enjoy. Sweet family! I adopted a wee puppy years ago in a cold Feb., and he rode 'round in my shirt for weeks... Guess we animal folk can get a mite weird! Your guinea n sick n overwhelmed bit especially got to me... I have 'em but it's love-hate... Have a sweet goat, maybe some turkeys and bees waiting to come live with us, but am sick n tired of being sick n overwhelmed. Hope you got your crew settled peacefully and are feeling 100%. I too was reminded to dress up my old scarecrow - your garden looks spectacular!


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