Friday, February 24, 2012

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Anna Ruby Falls

On our way home from our little two day getaway, we stopped by Anna Ruby Falls in Helen, GA.  It was a nice, enjoyable little stroll along Smith Creek that ended at a double waterfall, which according to the books and websites is rare.

It was only .4 mile to the falls, but you could keep going on another trail if you wanted, which the kids tried to talk us into.  It's "only 5 miles".  Their young bodies can't comprehend the pain "only 5 miles" would cause me .... and also none of them seemed to notice the 10 miles round trip section of the sign.  Good thing that I read things all the way through.

There were benches, deemed "Flintstone Chairs" by my kids, scattered along the path, so there was plenty of opportunity to rest.

It was worth the stop to Anna Ruby Falls.  The weather was perfect and the scenery was beautiful.  If you're ever near Helen, I highly recommend going.  It did cost money, but only $2 per person over 12.  Good thing half of us are still under the paying age!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Break Getaway

We took a little trip to Amicalola Falls over the weekend and had a great time just getting away.  On Friday, we went out for a "small" morning hike to see the falls.  Little did I know that really the only way to see the falls good was to go on the trail with steps.  Lots of steps.  604 steps.  We started at the top, since going down 604 steps sounded easier to me than going up them. 

View from the top of the stairs.

I'd like to say that I stayed behind with my little one to help her, but it was really the other way around.  By the time this picture was taken, all of the other kids were at the bottom while I was probably only about 100 steps down.

Really, though, the view was worth it.  Isn't it beautiful? 

Once we made it to the bottom of the 1 mile trail, my son found a map that showed several other ways to the top.  Since I wasn't too keen on climbing back up those stairs, I was willing to let him navigate.  I wish I had paid better attention to the map myself, or maybe listened to my son a little better, because the 1.5 mile hike through the woods up the mountain took us back to ..... the bottom of the 604 steps.  Lucky for me, the trail met up with a parking lot next the road before it met the stairs.  A lady happened to be there when I came huffing out of the woods and felt sorry for me, so she drove me up the rest of the mountain to our van.

Notice the short sleeves and tank top .... what a crazy "winter" we are experiencing here in Georgia. 

Taking one of my many rests during that hike.
After eating a nice lunch and getting my energy back, my sister, Kim, and her family drove up to visit us.  Can you guess what we did together?  That stupid trail next to the falls.  Since Kim doesn't do going down stairs well (she takes them like a toddler, where both feet have to meet together on each step .... I don't blame her, she took a pretty nasty fall down some stairs several years ago that ended in a pretty bad break complete with rod and screws in her leg) I decided to go up the trail with her from the bottom.  I ended up climbing those 604 steps after all.  You wouldn't believe the soreness I experienced the next two days after all that hiking and all those stairs. 

The day we left, they had some animals at the visitor's center!  This vulture was out front and I thought he was pretty cute .... for a vulture.

The little guy below is Gizmo, a screech owl.  I thought this picture was hilarious, because I think Gizmo looks a lot like Dale. 

You can see how tiny and cute he is compared to my son's head.  Or .... the owl could be normal sized and my boy has a crazy big head.

They had several snakes behind glass that the kids enjoyed looking at, and one of the employee's brought Elvis, the king snake, out to let them pet. 

We also saw a beautiful Great Horned Owl (above).  We have an owl that hangs out around our neighborhood and when I told the people what it's call sounded like, I found out that my friend is a Barred Owl, like the one below.

It was a great trip, and I'm looking forward to the full use of my legs again.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I grilled some steaks a few weeks back in the dark.  Looking out the kitchen window, I saw clumps of fire dropping out of the grill on our patio, but didn't think much about it.  It wasn't until I went to turn off the flame and the knob wouldn't budge, that I knew something had happened.  The only way to turn it off was to turn off the gas.  When Derek came home, I told him about it and said, "It's almost like the knob melted."

When we went outside with the flood lights turned on to see the damage, we found this:

So, yep .... I'm pretty sure the knob melted!  Below is what I saw falling to the ground, I'm guessing melted plastic.

Now that our grill is useless, you wouldn't believe how much I've been wanting and craving shish kabobs! 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

An Accident....and Why I Hate Facebook

     A few of my son's friends stopped by today, with me being unprepared for company with no food and a dirty house.  I ran to the grocery to get some essentials like soda, chips, and plastic cups.  On the way back home, an ambulance flies past me and I see him turn down my road.  That's really not unusual as we live pretty close to the hospital and emergency vehicles go up and down the road all the time.  However, this ambulance stops right in front of my house!!!  It turns out in the 15 minutes I was gone, that one of the friends fell out of our magnolia tree from about 20 feet up and landed on his neck. 

     Let me tell you, you DO NOT want experience the feeling of driving home to an ambulance and firetruck in front of your house, and seeing the paramedics rushing into your yard with a gurney.  At our hospital, it is protocol to take a minor with a head injury to the Children's Hospital in Atlanta.  They won't even do an x-ray in fear of doing damage.  So they life flighted him to Atlanta!  While it was serious and I am by no means belittling the fall, I'm not really sure an ambulance and helicopter were necessary.  However, it is better to be safe than sorry, right?

     It turns out that he is fine.  He broke his ankle and has a concussion and they are keeping him overnight for observation since he lost consciousness.  I'm so thankful he wasn't hurt anymore than that!  I'm also grateful for his understanding parents know that accidents happen and they aren't mad at us.

     Now on to Facebook.  So the rest of the boys were shook up, but just like kids, are able to cut up and still have some fun after the boy left.  Especially since he was talking and acting fine by the time he left.  I happened to go on Facebook about an hour later and it's blown up amongst some of their friends about what happened.  None of the kids at my house called anybody and of course the kid strapped to the gurney didn't call anybody .... so how in the world did word get out???  Within a few hours, the 8th graders at their school have the boy falling 30 feet from a tree and hanging on to life by a thread.  By tonight, kids have posted pictures of their hands in the shape of hearts for their dear friend, who according to them might not pull through.  Boy, does news travel through the grapevine a lot quicker in this day and age with social networking!

     And since I like to put pictures in my posts, I will leave you with some pictures of Derek and the girls, who went on a daddy/daughter date night at Chick-fil-A and then to Beauty and the Beast 3D afterwards. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Take on Movie Reviewers

Derek and I love going to the movies. Yes, it's highly overpriced. Yes, the cost of popcorn is ridiculous. And, yes, we love it. We usually go to the theaters every week, thanks to an awesome father-in-law who keeps all six kids.  Because of this, I'm usually going to Yahoo or Rotten Tomatoes to check out user reviews of movies to help us decided which one to go to.

Do you want to know what I can't stand?  People who write movie reviews that haven't even seen the movie they are reviewing.  For example, I was reading a user review on The Grey last week.  This lady (not even seeing the film) gave the movie 1 star because it falsely portrays wolves as predators of humans.  Really?!?  I just read another write up of The Woman in Black where the reviewer saw the play when he was a youngster, and the preview of the film just doesn't look as good to him.  Again, really??

I will say that if you're in the mood for a different kind of movie, go see The Artist.  It's a black and white silent film that is absolutely charming, and it had me enthralled from the moment it started to the minute it ended.