Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hiking the Great Channels of Virginia

This weekend we took a trip to Abingdon, VA to check out a  the Great Channels. 



The Great Channels are a virtually unknown slot canyon on the southern slop of Clinch mountain. They are impressive formations of 400-million-year-old sandstone, that create a maze of stone. 

While slot canyons are somewhat common in the southwest USA, they’re pretty rare on the east coast. There is nothing else like the Channels anywhere in Virginia. The labyrinth of crevices, passageways, and twists and turns means it’s potentially easy to get lost so pay attention to where you came in. 


We had a great time exploring the labyrinth of sandstone. 


Geologists believe that the Channels were  formed while the high-elevation sandstone cap was under the influence of permafrost and ice wedging during the last ice age. These forces shattered and enlarged the joints in the sandstone caprock creating the tunnels and maze we see today.






Looking up from the inside the channels. A lot of my pictures didn't come out, because there isn't a lot of light inside the maze.  The sunlight sort of peeks through in spots like this.


 There are lot of tight spaces to squeeze through. A few areas that were a bit claustrophobic, and we made our way through the maze.


After spending some time wandering around the slot canyon, we followed a trail that took us to the top of the Channels. Here we were able to peer down into the them.  This made me a little nervous as we had to jump over some pretty steep spaces to move around this area. 


 It was a nice place to rest and enjoy the views, which were truly breath taking.


This is the view from Middle knob.  The elevations on the Channels State Forest range from 1,800 feet to more than 4,208 feet. The sandstone maze at the heart of Channels State Forest sits hidden at the top of Middle Knob – elevation 4208’.

The actual trail to the Channels is about 3 miles, from the parking lot. It's well marked and reasonably mild although there is a gradual 1000 ft incline.  

We really enjoyed the hike (it had been way too long since our last one). The weather was gorgeous for October, and we found it well worth the 2 hour drive to get there. 


Monday, October 16, 2017

Garden update 10/13- Transitioning to Fall.

A couple weeks ago we had our first frost. It was only a light frost, but i pretty much gave up on the garden and really didn't expect to be posting anymore harvest pictures. My focus has been on moving my craft area downstairs, setting up a studio and playing in the glass shop again. So my garden is a neglected mess of weeds and morning glories right now. 



Went out this morning to clean it up a bit and was surprised to see that it's still producing. 


i planted a bunch of lettuce and kale under row covers back in July. The majority of it never germinated, or was munched (especially the kale) before it had a chance to grow.  The few that made it, did really well. SO we are starting the fall with fresh lettuce....but just a little.  i do have more planted in a different area, that does seem to be germinating better. 


i have fall peas blooming and producing. i planted green, yellow and purple again. So far only the yellow have started to produce. They really seem to be enjoying the cool mornings.


My rattlesnake preacher beans are fantastic.  These area  pole bean and they produce like crazy. i also have bush beans planted, they are producing but not as abundantly.  We could get a frost any day now that will wipe them all out. i'm feeling pretty grateful to still be getting so much summer goodness in mid october.


Morning glories are beautiful, but also extremely invasive. i spend all summer ripping them out of the garden, but they just keep coming. By the fall, when the garden is nearly done and i let the morning glories take it over. These are my bean poles. The morning glories have completely covered them, and the tomatoes. They pulled down what was left of my bamboo fence, and knocked over several of the tomato supports. 

It's a beautiful sort of destruction that eases us into the winter. Just as everything begins to really die back, it's all covered in flowers. 


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Witchy Halloween- Finding the Perfect Witch Hat! (sponsored)


Halloween is quickly approaching! i hadn't even begun to think about a costume, when i received an invite to the Practical Magic Halloween from a friend on facebook.  Here is the description of the event.

"Ladies, this Halloween, let's show our little town our true spirit! It isn't hard to do and it won't take a lot of money. Think about this, a black dress or black top and skirt, witch's hat, and striped socks....there you go! Show up to Dogtown and not only do we win the prize but how amazing will it be to have a whole room of Witches! i happen to know that there is another group that thinks they might win the group prize...but who can compete with this!"

" Ladies who will be taking little ones out for trick or treating, wouldn't it be a sight if we all dressed up to do this too? At least we can throw our hats on and nod to each other as we pass in the street!"

So just like that, i knew exactly what i'd be dressing up as this year. A witch!  Every year my kids come up with costume ideas and i spend so much time working on them, that i don't always have the time to finish mine. 

This is the first time ever i have my costume done before the kids! Wohoo! Okay, it's not really done. i'm going to hit the goodwill this weekend to find a better witch dress and some accessories, but i'm feeling mighty witchy. ;)  i've been wanting a nice witch hat for ages (i mean, who doesn't?!) Everytime we go to a Harry Potter party, HP festival etc i wish i had a Professor Mcgonagall costume, but couldn't find a good witch hat.  Most of the witch hats i've seen in the stores are pretty lame.  



So you have no idea how excited i was to find this one by Sdsaena. This hat is amazing! It's very stiff and sturdy. It's huge! The outer fabric has a lacy look, i believe there is a layer of felt in the center to stabilize it and then it's lined in a satin type fabric. The spider on the side is made from pipe cleaner, but looks neat on the hat. The flower on the front of the bow has just a hint of sparkly green going through it. It doesn't have the full round brim like a traditional witch hat, but it's such a cool design! 


"We have a witch in the family. Isn't it wonderful?"- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
My girl loves the hat so much she tried to claim it, even though she wasn't even planning to be a witch this year.  It even has a decorative spider climbing up the side.




What could be better than one amazing witch hat? Three amazing witch hats!! This hat is sold as a set of three. So my girl will be getting her hat.  This set is perfect for group costumes, witch gatherings or Harry Potter parties!  i'm super excited to be able to share one with a friend that wanted to attend the Practical Magic event but didn't have a hat. You can check it out here  http://www.sdsaena.com/Sdsaena-Women-s-Luxury-17-5-High-Halloween-Witch-Hat-Adult-Set-of-3-p333505.html  It's available in black, purple and orange.  It's also available in Amazon, and i have several 10% off coupons to share, so drop me an email if interested!

Now that my costume is (mostly) done, i can start working on the kids costumes as soon as they decide what they are going to be! 






i received this product in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own.
#sdsaena #sponsored #cosplay #halloween #witch #witchhat #witchclub

Back in the glass shop!


Now that garden season is wrapping up, i've started playing in the glass shop again. Last year i made a ton of hearts, and goddess pendants and then took the summer off to focus on the garden.  i wasn't that excited about getting back into the glass shop, because i get bored really easy and didn't really know what to make. i played around with a few ideas, but wasn't feeling that inspired.  Several friends kept posting a video on my fb wall showing glass sea turtles, so i decided to give them a try. 



These are the first 3 i made!  i think you can see the progress just in these three! The first one is on the left. The second one in has the dichro shell which was difficult to work with, but i figured out how to make the head less stretched. By the third one, i really felt like i had my design down.


The first couple i made were pretty big for pendants, so i focused on trying to make them a bit smaller. i decided this was a really good size.


Kenan gave me some dichro patterned chips to use and i love the way they look. i ended up keeping this one for myself. :) 



i'm really excited about how these are turning out and i'm looking forward to play with some different colors and shell patterns. i signed up to have a table at the Fall festival at our local school again this year, and need to stockpile pendants for that. i'll eventually be posting them for sale on my fb page.


Monday, October 9, 2017

SunRype & Disney Pixar are Teaming Up Again! #SunRypeFamilySweepstakes #PixarCoco #contest #sponsored



We are all about healthy snacks! i keep fresh fruit in the house at all times. With our busy scheduale sometimes we want a quick healthy snack to take with us and it's impracticable to carry around fresh fruit in our pocket/purse. Sunrype Fruit to Go is perfect for those occasions! They are 100% fruit strips that contain a combination of fruit puree, lemon juice concentrate, citrus pectin, citric acid and natural flavor. All the sugar in these comes naturally from the fruit and juices. 
 i LOVE that they contain so much fruit and are gluten-free, peanut-free and vegan.  So many schools are peanut free these days, that it's really nice to find healthy snacks that are peanut free and won't get soft and squishy if left in a backpack for days. 

SunRype is excited to  be collaborating with Disney for their release of the new movie Coco!  Disney shares their passion for health and wellness. Together, they hope to help deliver fun, educational and nutritional information around the power of healthy eating to individuals and families across North America. Disney’s commitment to health and wellness dates back to 2006, when the company became the first major media company to establish a Nutrition Guideline Policy to associate its brands with a more nutritious portfolio of foods and beverages. The company has since marked every year of its Healthy Living Commitment with significant milestones, such as becoming the first major media company to launch food advertising standards for children, launching new content and experiences that inspire healthier lifestyles.




Disney Pixar's Coco arrives in theaters just a few days before Thanksgiving on November 22, 2017. These animated characters are sure to provide fun entertainment for your entire family.  SunRype USA is excited to be a part of Celebrating the release of Disney●Pixar's Coco in Theatres November 22, 2017!




 From October 2nd-20th they will be collecting entries for 1 lucky person to win a Trip for 4 consisting of travel and accommodations for 3 Days & 2 Nights in Hollywood, plus 4 passes for the opportunity to see the Los Angeles Premiere Screening of the Disney●Pixar's Coco film in early November plus some yummy SunRype snacks of course. After that we will be giving away some great weekly SunRype & Disney●Pixar's Coco prize packages up for grabs from October 23rd to November 24th, 2017.

Enter here for a chance to win a Trip for 4 to the Movie Premiere (October 2-20, 2017). 
Enter here for a chance to win a weekly prize pack  (October 23 - November 24, 2017)

Good luck! We are looking forward to seeing the movie in theaters soon! 

You can find SunRype at select grocery stores.  Where to Buy 
or order by the case online at: Amazon.com

Connect with  SunRype USA 
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*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The sweepstakes begins on October 2nd, 2017 at 8:00am PT and ends on October 20, 2017, at midnight PT for the Premiere Trip Sweepstakes & October 23rd through to November 24th, 2017 for the weekly prize packages. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. or D.C. who are 18 years of age or older. The sweeps can be entered ONCE PER DAY. Find a full list of the prizes available to be won, how to enter, odds of winning and drawing dates along with the full rules and regulations at www.facebook.com/SunRypeUSA. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: Sun-Rype Products Ltd

*i received a complimentary product in exchange, for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are 100% my own.