Autumness

Life is just as busy as ever right now! It’s feeling a bit more consistently cool these days. Our brand spankin’ new Trader Joe’s opened a few weeks ago and it’s AMAZING!!! We love love love having a Trader Joe’s here in Asheville.

Trader Joe's Asheville!

The walled gardens at the Biltmore Estate are ever changing and the carpet of flowers there is breathtaking.

Fall flowers in the Walled Garden at the Biltmore

I’m noticing fall colors like I never have before – there’s more lavender in early fall than I ever realized.

Fall flowers

And the wine tasting at the Biltmore is always a favorite spontaneous activity!

Spontaneous Wine Tasting

Fall colors

My Dad was in town last weekend and we really enjoyed having him visit. We took him to Wicked Weed, Doc Chey’s, and Hi-Wire to taste some of our favorite brews and delicious noms! And we went to Dough with some of his friends for the first time! I didn’t even know it existed. It’s a neat little bakery restaurant with good sandwiches and a nice vibe. One of his friends, Christopher Oakley, who used to be an animator at Disney, told us all about his recent findings about Lincoln at Gettysburg. So interesting! Thanks for coming to visit, Dad!

Dough Asheville

And now we’re enjoying the fall-ness in the air – the foggy mornings, crisp mountain air, pumpkins and Halloween decorations everywhere, planning for upcoming holidays, and all of our other sundry activities. My Spanish class at AB Tech has been awesome and we’re all talking about a Spanish IV class in January! Mmm fall.

Pumpkins!

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Head First into September

I find myself diving into September head first. And it’s already almost halfway through!

School is off to a rock and rolling start. We are getting into a routine slowly but surely and getting to know our kiddos better every day. Teaching certainly is a challenging job, but I do love it.

I started taking a continuing education Spanish class at the local community college and we had our first class on Tuesday of this week. It was so great! It feels wonderful to be back in a Spanish class, reviewing my knowledge, practicing my conversation skills, and building my confidence with speaking! I surprise myself with how much I actually do know and remember when I just start speaking. Hopefully this class will hold me accountable for actually using this beautiful language!

Spanish Textbook

The Walled Garden at the Biltmore Estate is beautiful in late summer. The large leafy plants are lush and lovely. The flowers are abundant and bright. The grass is green and it feels so magical.

Walled Garden, Biltmore Estate

The roses are still blooming and I wish I had enough sniffs in my nose to sniff all of them. I’m always a bit disappointed when they don’t smell. But so many of them do, and jeepers do they smell good!

Roses at the Biltmore

Biltmore Estate from the Italian Gardens

I would like to say that it’s starting to feel like fall around these parts, but I just can’t bring myself to say that when it’s still mid-80s and humid. We have had some absolutely gorgeous misty mornings though! The clouds catch on the mountains and hug the sunlight into the morning with a tenderness only foggy mornings can. It’s like bits of magic leftover from dreamland.

Misty morning sunshine

Life has been busy lately. Busy, but good. I took myself to yoga last night even though I was so tempted to just stay at home. And I am so glad I went! Yoga is awesome.

African Violet

Fall is a busy time of year for us here in las montañas! I’ll try to keep the blog updated on all of our adventures. Also, my mom’s African Violet is blooming abundantly! It’s incredible! And it makes me think of her every time I see it.

regarding summer

Craggy Pinnacle

Craggy Pinnacle

Farmer's Market Basket

Farmer’s Market Basket

Woopie Pies

Woopie Pies

Brews at the Bywater

Brews at the Bywater

Hiking up Mount Pisgah

Hiking up Mount Pisgah

Hiking

Hiking

View from the top of Mount Pisgah

View from the top of Mount Pisgah

Mountain Laurel

Mountain Laurel

40 Eastbound in the morning.

40 Eastbound in the morning.

Walking down memory lane with my mom: my first Passport photo. 3 days old.

Walking down memory lane with my mom: my first Passport photo. 3 days old.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

A Visit to Hi-Wire Brewing!

A Visit to Hi-Wire Brewing!

Summer is here.

I would say that we are settling into a nice summer routine. We have gone hiking in the beautiful mountains that surround us, sipped beer at the countless places in Asheville where one can drink beer, watched our tomatoes grow, stayed dry during the monsoons this past week and steered clear of the flooded roads. My tomato plants have enough water now thankyouverymuch. There have already been two trips to Carrboro and there are more visits still to come before Mom moves to Kuwait. Memory Lane is becoming a well traveled highway in our family as of late. I think it’s my favorite highway. Parker is in China and seems to be having the time of his life. I am grateful. Summer camp schedule at school is most excellent. It allows for an actual summer vacation unlike any I have had in a long time. Mornings allow for leisurely drinking cup-after-cup of joe. I like joe. The farmer’s markets are abundant and rich in smiles and freshness. The flutter of love in my heart is so real. Love that feels settled and rhythmic. We dance in the kitchen. Sometimes there is no music.

My backyard is glowing with the flashing lights of fireflies.

Summer is here.

Spring Break 2013: The Week in Review.

This week was so busy! It was good busy, though. Mostly. I sort of wish I had a week to run around and get stuff done and another week to sleep and sit around and perhaps go to a vacation-y spot. Alas, I managed to cram it all into one ten day span! And there are still a couple more days!

Monday I went to the dentist. Clean teeth: check. And I went grocery shopping. Tuesday I went to the eye doctor and got my haircut. Healthy eyes: check. New purple glasses: check. Hair trimmy-trim: check. Scott has been in various states of an ear infection all week – pain, fever, vertigo. Stinky stinky stinky.

Wednesday morning I hit the road to Chapel Hill! Had lunch with my oldest friend, Emily Silva, before she moves to NYC next weekend! Go Emily go! Went to Trader Joe’s to stock up – one day the Asheville store will open! Thursday I spent the day with my mom in her classroom. Her kids had a really neat Poetry Coffeehouse in the morning where they read some of their original poems! I had lunch with my dad at Merritt’s Store and Grill – really terrific BLT – and had a nice time catching up with him. After school was over Mom and I spent some time going around her house and making a list of things I want to have from her house while she’s in Kuwait. Among various other conversations and general hanging out! It was a very brief visit, but lovely. Thursday evening I headed back home to the mountains!

Friday ended up being a general catch-up day. Laundry, some errands, picked up my new glasses (!!!), lovely relaxing, hanging out. Saturday I worked at my weekend job again and Mom came up for the weekend! Easter Sunday we had a nice brunch – pancakes and bacon. Mom and I borrowed our friends sweet pooch, Cricket, for an afternoon walk and had a lovely time! Then we spent the evening in and cooked a nice simple Easter dinner of ham, roasted potatoes with cheese, and green beans. We watched a fair bit of Downton Abbey and hit the sack! Monday brought another fun day of running around. A lazy morning, late brunch, an early afternoon visit to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, a walk down to the Screen Door (where I found an awesome little children’s size ironing board that I intend to use for plants), a visit to the Biltmore for their wine tasting, and another delicious dinner together! Followed by some more Downton Abbey!

It was a lot of mish mash and this that and the other thing this Spring Break. Today was glorious! It snowed some earlier this Spring Break and we have had some lovely weather mixed in, with some rain too. The weather has been up and down and all around this spring. One day it will be consistently warm though! I was very productive this break, I got to travel, and I got to spend time with some of my favorite people! Scott is finally starting to feel a bit more like himself, which is such a relief. He still has some vertigo, but he was able to come with us to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge earlier! And I am very glad because it is our six year anniversary today!!! All in all it was a great break, a much needed rest, a rejuvenating time off, and a good week mixed with some productivity!

Loving our hyacinths!!!

Snow over Spring Break!?

Kitty!

Stocking up at Trader Joe's!

4th Grade Poetry Coffeehouse!

Merritt's!

Sunset on the road.

New specs!

Easter bunny pancakes!

French Broad Chocolate Lounge!

Lately.

Fun things happening around here! Spring is in the air!

We have been going for walks at the Biltmore a lot lately. The weather over these past few weekends has been absolutely gorgeous! Oh, and the cows. Love the cows!

Biltmore Cow!

Finally went to The Hop for the first time! I had Sweet Beet – beet ice cream! And it was delicious!!! I never would have thought of something like that, and I love it! Especially in a waffle cone with tiny chocolate chips. Omnom!

Sweet Beet

The Hop

We had our favorite pooch for a few days last week! Her humans went out of town and we had the pleasure of hosting her at our place! Such a sweetheart. Love you Cricket!

Pooch sitting!

On Thursday evening we went to the Thirsty Monk for the Mystery Brewing event! Had a flight of four of their delicious beers. It was a fun evening out! If you get the chance, check out Mystery Brewing Company at the Thirsty Monk! Excellent brews!

Mystery Brewing Company Flight

Oh, and this is what is growing in our garden!!! We planted some bulbs in the fall and they are starting to bloom! I am positively thrilled! Makes me really happy!

Hyacinth!

Lately things have been good! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and our flowers are blooming!

This.

Saturday morning

Bulbs!

A walk

My handsome man

This weekend was wonderful. We took it easy since I was sick at the end of the week and am still getting better, but we still did exactly what we wanted. There was couch-sitting, coffee-sipping, waffle-eating, lounging, walking, beer-drinking, sun-soaking, and day-dreaming. The bulbs we planted in the fall are breaking through the ground outside the door and I love how they greet us whenever we are coming or going. Now there is banana bread in the oven and I am trying to stay in Sunday night as long as I can.

Weekend Review: Awesome 80s Prom!

Last weekend we headed to Chapel Hill for the show my mom was in! One of her former students contacted her to be a part of the East Chapel Hill High School play Awesome 80s Prom! And we couldn’t miss it! My marvelous mother was Mrs. Patty Lascalzo, the drama teacher, and the school was called Wannaget High! It was an audience interactive show in the gym at Lincoln Center. The gym was set up like a school dance and it was decked out for your 1989 Senior Prom! The music was great, the costumes/outfits were so much fun, and the whole evening was a blast! There were bits and pieces on the stage and the characters all interacted with the audience on the dance floor throughout the night. Whenever there was a slow dance my mom (the drama teacher) and the principal came around with rulers to separate people! It was so funny! It was such a great show, and such a fun weekend! We got to see some good friends, family, and had a great time at our 1989 Senior High Prom!

On Sunday afternoon, once we were home from Chapel Hill, it was time to do a bit of gardening! We bought some spring flower bulbs on super sale a couple of months ago and it was really almost past time to plant them. So I spent some time digging in the dirt, dug a nice big hole, and planted some hyacinth and tulip bulbs! They were so beautiful! I am really excited to see them in the spring!

Also, in honor of Election Day, here’s my photo. I voted early last Thursday! I really hope you voted too.

Biltmore in August

We went for a walk around the Biltmore today and it was beautiful! The gardens are different all throughout the year, and they truly are beautiful with every change, but today they were particularly breathtaking. The flowers that are blooming now are such rich saturated colors and the variety brings such depth and texture. It’s absolutely amazing! Our season passes have WAY more than paid for themselves this year. We go all the time!!!