Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Small Town Living

I love a small town.

Every Monday the girls look forward to a special event - and, as Hannah tells me, "Monday is Trash Guy Day!"

Hannah and Abbo make it a point to always go out and say hello, and Hannah fills the guys in on what's going on around here - her birthday, how naughty Abbo has been, my hurt arm, whatever. I can tell from the looks on the guys' faces that they can't always understand what she's saying - I mean, they're right by that loud truck and her voice is quiet (um, sometimes, it is). But they are always polite, friendly and glad to see her. She's fixed them cookies and drawn them pictures on occasion....

Imagine our delight when, last Monday, they made a DELIVERY instead of only their usual pickup. They handed out two wrapped presents to the girls! It was such a surprise and they got such a kick out of it!! They could hardly stand it and had to come inside and unwrap them right away. Such shredding of paper you've never seen!

I don't know who was more tickled, me or them. I had planned to make them some cookies, but this deserved an extra treat in their Christmas bags.

If you're reading this - ANOTHER BIG THANK YOU - to Charlie, Tommy and Timothy - the Most Excellent "Trash Guys" in Alleghany County - You're The Best!

Christmas preparations

Even though I am not wholly ready, I feel a strange -albeit unsettling - peace about the whole thing! Kind of like when a hurricane is forecast but the skies are nothin' but blue, blue skies....
Yes, we had 22+" of snow on Saturday, and the reason I have no pictures to show is that I lost my camera battery recharger and had to order a new one. Its still not here yet. There are a few on our 35mm, but who knows when we'll get those developed.
I got the girls' presents wrapped two nights ago and stuck them under the tree. They are getting excited now, seeing the gifts. Hannah asked this morning why there were no presents in their "Stanta Bags" (stockings), and I told her Santa doesn't come for two more nights. What?! Two more nights! That sent a jolt through me that no swig of Starbucks ever could!
I still have to sew the girls' nightgowns. I'm deterred by the fact that there are several orange blotches scattered throughout the fabric that I've washed and ironed. I'm not sure if it was there when I bought it or if its a casualty of our washing machine and our hard water. Before we trek to th' WalMart tonight I'm going to cut out the patterns and see if I have enough to avoid the stains. If not, I'll get another yard or two.
Christmas baking? Well, its a staple of several presents and I guess I better get at it today and tomorrow. Its a false sense of security that I'm going to Tidewater the day after Christmas and I think that I'll have Christmas afternoon to bake. Mmmm, like I said. I better get at it today. I was able to gift our trash guys and mail lady with cookies and treats, and I'll set out a cake for the newspaper guy this afternoon. But after that, my supplies are low, so its back to the kitchen with my little "helpers". I just have to trust that the oven heat will kill any germs from repeated sneaky "tastings".
I want to post pictures of my homemade Christmas gifts, but the recipients may find it too hard to look away. I'll save that post for after Christmas!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Roaring Run Hike

We went for a lovely hike last weekend!
No, really, they enjoyed it!
It was at Roaring Run Furnace, just south of Alleghany in Botetourt. The hike to the falls was about 3/4 of a mile at an easy grade. Abbo walked most of the way up; Andy carried her some of the way because she was slow and her legs got tired. But Hannah made it the whole way.
The best part of the hike was that it is almost wholly right beside the creek (Roaring Run), so its cool, moist and pleasant, with lots to see and do.
(like threatening your parents with a stick while perched on a rock over the creek)
(or playing Indian in the cave)
There are two sets of falls - well, one cascade and one falls, I guess. There's also a special trout management area, and while we saw several fishermen, we didn't see anything in their creels. But we did see a couple fish in the deep holes.
(upper falls)

On the way back, we took the Woodland Trail, which is exactly what it says: a trail through a mostly deciduous forest with some piney sections, especially at higher elevations. There was one fairly steep grade with an overlook.

The rest was downhill from the falls back to the furnace and the parking lot area.

We'll definitely go back and do this hike again....but with more than corn chips for a snack at the top!
And afterwards to celebrate? The girls put Pull-Ups on their heads and said they were fire helmets....then dressed up all their stuffed animals with the same. Argh.