Saturday, November 30, 2013


Gosh, it's getting busy around here. 

Thursday a Thanksgiving dinner to attend and then Friday the Downtown Hendersonville Tree Lighting. Our social schedule is really picking up!

Being that we aren't from around here we didn't really have an idea what we were heading into with this event. Would it be busy? Where will we park?

We headed downtown to find out - about a 20 minute drive from Curt and Debbie's place. It took us a minute to get the right street - only getting turned around once. Finally. 

And it was busy! Cars and people everywhere. That's ok - we can walk. We found a parking spot at a downtown park not two blocks from the main strip.


An amazing Magnolia - LOVE Magnolia trees. It certainly can't get too cold here if this tree is able to become this large.

We have just under and hour to look around and get some dinner before the Light Up at the Museum.

Hendersonville's downtown theme are the bears - lots of bears.

Love the barn wood frontage sign.

Dad joining Cassia this time. The temperature was pretty nice today about 10C (50F).

Being Black Friday as well, Mast General Store was very busy. Too busy to go inside. That's ok - we didn't need anything and certainly not more candy!

Street shot. Hendersonville has a very nice, pedestrian friendly downtown.

I liked the artwork.

Since we were looking for dinner we didn't go in - darn! Passing up a Bakery isn't something we usually do. Sigh.

I'm a sucker for taking pictures of old signs.

Another horse ride - on Ginger - for Cassia .... cheaper than the real thing and dare I say just as fun for her.

Closed?! Closed?! 

We made it as far as the Museum where the evenings events were to take place. Looks pretty quiet now - a lot different than when we returned an hour later.

We chose the Hannah Flanagan's for dinner - we saw some good options on the menu in the window and it was absolutely packed. Packed! A good sign.

Amazing that without watches and no idea of the time we made it back to the Museum just in time. A few more Christmas carols and then the long awaited visitor appeared.

Could a four year old be any more excited! Cassia's first time seeing Santa in person.

Obviously the reindeer and the sled were parked on the roof.

A quick countdown with Santa and the lights were on!

After the lighting Santa went on to invite everyone to visit the shops on Main Street! :)

Then he invited all the children into the Museum for cookies and juice and to meet with him. You could imagine what happened then. Yup, a mad rush up the stairs. 

What is a parent to do! Especially when their little four year old has been told that she too will see Santa.Well, in this case, Mom braved the mayhem while Dad bailed.

Thankfully the line moved fairly well at first - into the building, around the corner, down the hallway, popcorn given, up two flights of stairs, around the corner, down the very long hallway, standing at the door .... annnnnnnd we're in. 

By this time bailing seemed like a good idea - boy was it hot. 

But with Cassia being able to actually see Santa now we weren't going anywhere. Coming in I had to laugh because behind us was another couple trying to talk their kids out of making the trip "Do you really want to wait more than an hour?" As if our kids really care about that - or even understand it - right?! Ahh - we try.

So, we waited, and waited and waited.

Being the mom 'that is getting smarter everyday' I am becoming, I realized that this was a good time to go over the events to come.

Me: Cassia - are you going to be afraid of Santa when we get up there?
Cassia: No.
Me: Ok - are you going to sit on his lap?
Cassia: Yes, and tell him what I want for Christmas.

Phew. I thought. I didn't want another Yogi Bear experience. I nipped that one in the bud.

Looking back now I realize that I didn't question it because she said these things so confidently.

And what happened instead?!

Santa took the opportunity between visits to stretch his legs. A bit daunting for a little girl....

And get this ..... as we walk up I feel a pulling on my leg, as in - I can barely pull the weight. I look down and around to see Cassia hugging the life out of my leg trying to hide behind me.

Oh no!

This with a few hundred people in the room and twice that number waiting for their turn.

What is a mom to do?

Pick Cassia up and put her on Santa's lap. That's what!

Sink or swim kid!

And so, this is how that turned out. Yaaaaaaa, to Santa for sticking with it and talking to her anyway. 

And then a quick look. 
Guess us adults forget what it's like to have a large male stranger looking right at you real close! 

And then back again. And finally.......

Success - if only for a second. 

Excitement or relief? Hard to tell. She sure was happy with her candy from Santa though.

And did she tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas? Not a chance.

Ahhhh - I know - most of us have been there. 

I wouldn't go near Santa either, so there.

Down the back stairs and Cassia and I were back outside looking for Derek. Although we stood in line for a bit, we finally decided that we just weren't going to wait that long for a free carriage ride.

We went and looked around the Christmas store instead.

Since it was still quite early - 6:30 pm, we decided to stop in at the Southern Appalachian Brewery just a few blocks from the downtown. Derek had found it online just before we left home.

In the dark, we drove right by it the first time - a very nondescript building without a sign. According to my google map it was there - so, we turned around and parked and then looked - yup - there it is - we think.

Cassia's photo. A neat little place with a real mix of customers. Like O'dells in Colorado with communal tables. Since half of this table was free we asked to share.

This is supposed to be a picture of Derek's flight more than our table mates.

This too, but it shows our new friends very well. Great people - they didn't stay long but we had a good conversation - the two men are both teachers. 

They obviously got a kick out of Cassia - she sure knows how to work a crowd. Here, she had asked Derek to hold up his beer for the picture. I doubt she got that from me!

Dad watching the band. We were in luck - since it was Friday there was a band and a good one at that - Serious Clark. We really enjoyed the music.

Although we enjoyed the all the beers, we ended up leaving with a growler of Black Bear Stout.

Certainly not the best picture of me.....but neither me - nor Cassia is the focus of this picture. Considering the place, and the rather loud music, we were fascinated that the lady over my shoulder was present - 92 years old!

Actually, after our three friends left they were replaced by another group which included two men and their wives and their mom - she was 87. Completely unbelievable - she looked 67! 

That's the way to do it - isn't it - out to the craft brewery til' the end.

Cassia was definitely at her end.

We left at 9:30 pm having had a very enjoyable late afternoon and evening in Hendersonville.

All from me tonight.


Thursday, November 28, 2013


I am certainly getting smarter as I'm getting older. Or - just getting to be a smarter parent.

Although Cassia is very helpful in the kitchen - sometimes the help is not so helpful if you now what I mean. So, in order to speed up the process a bit I actually made the cookies and the cake last night after she had gone to bed. Smart - right?!

She did help me mix the orange and green icing today. Today was icing day!

I didn't really want to have to do all of it today and look like a chicken turkey with my head cut off.

As I mentioned, I had offered to bring a dessert and had decided to bring carrot cake. Yum.

Turned out ok - at this point I still had icing left and almost piped some on - but then stepped back and thought - that's good. It was good! Going to go get a piece now actually. 

Just a minute - I'll be right back.

Yup - pretty good - a nice dense cake and the icing is sweet but not too sweet - thank the two blocks of cream cheese for that. Here's the recipe over at Good Thymes & Good Food.

I have never made a cake that involved nuts on the side like this. It took me a minute to plan my approach. In the end I took a handful and pressed them on. Because the icing is quite stiff it worked very well. I was impressed. Nice that Debbie had a huge stash of pecans on hand. 

Both recipes worked out but they both let me down. The recipe for the cake icing would have been enough for two cakes even with a ton of icing on each. Because it called for 2lbs of icing sugar I had realized that I did not have enough icing for the cookies. 

The cookie recipe totally let me down! 
Did you skip on over to Kailey's Kitchen from wence the recipe came. Mine look nothing like her's - grrrrrr. Hate that - her's cookies don't even look like they have carrot in them for gosh sake and exactly how do you get them all round and flat light that - not with this recipe! Anyway, even though I wasn't overly excited with how they looked I iced them - with all my extra icing - and took them along. 

Since we haven't been going out much - what with the snow and all - I thought I'd show you how the ride went over to the other side of Hendersonville.

Headed to Kelly and David and families house for Thanksgiving. They have five kids - Cassia is excited.

An apple + produce stand just down the road. I have been meaning to stop in but they are closed Dec. 1. Maybe we can make it there tomorrow on our way into the city.

One of the many orchards in these parts.

More foreigners! A Westfalia from Quebec, obviously heading further south. Florida no doubt.
And a youngish couple to boot.

Nothing fancy about this picture, I just wanted to show that we went from country - to city (Hendersonville) - to country.

I should have more downtown shots next post since we are headed there tomorrow afternoon for the Christmas tree light up and to meet Santa. Fun.

At the stop light - we all laughed.

This area is very similar to many parts of British Columbia for us - particularly Vancouver Island. A moderated climate - it doesn't get too cold but quite a bit of moisture. Lots of trees and narrow winding roads. Still no shoulders. We laughed when Cecil, the fellow we drove home said - they have a shoulder - it's called a ditch. 

The highway is still lined with trees but beyond are nice stretches of lawn - hobby farm type properties.

From the highway we turned onto Kelly and David's road. Not paved. Gravel. 

Yikes! I thought I was back on the Mexican backroad for a minute. Not sure I could get used to that - I'm starting to become citified I think. AND it went in about a mile - or maybe more - 10 miles maybe!

No sooner had we arrived that Cassia was out and off with the kids. Seven kids at her disposal = fun for a four year old. 
Actually - today being November 28th, means that Cassia is exactly 4 1/2 years old! 
The apple of our eye.

Blackberry and Sitonrocksmokin'

Raspberry - the newest addition to the family.

David and Kelly's house sits within the trees - very tall trees. There's Blackberry starin' at ya.

David's sister and family came from up from Georgia for the weekend. 
LOVE LOVE LOVE her boots. I couldn't resist a picture. 

Ariel showed me her boots to - so, here's a picture of her's too!

One thing you just have to love about living in the country - you get to have your own chickens = eggs. 

Free to good home! Ha! Just jokin' of course - you gotta love the kid - snarky faces and all!

Cassia has yet to meet a dog that she doesn't love.

I guess because she has grown up around Rufus she has no fear - yet. And what dog doesn't love the attention that a little girl provides.

Dinner time!

It was a large group - a rag tag team - 13 adults and 8 kids. Kelly and David did a stellar job (if you've ever had to cook for a group that large you know what I mean) with a delicious meal and exactly how a Thanksgiving meal should be - way to much good food - top button worthy. 

Since it was an early meal, 4:00 pm we were home by 7:30pm. If you can believe that even included a stop at Walmart. Not my idea and I wouldn't even go in - the parking lot was packed. Yup - Black Friday shopping already at full throttle. But since we don't get out very often the boys (Meshach and Josiah - hardly boys - ugh - am I that old already?) wanted to stop for a few items.

A nice third Thanksgiving dinner. 

Thanksgiving is a HUGE deal here in the USA I have realized.....interesting. 

All from me tonight.

Time to digest.


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