Crabtree Falls

Yesterday my birthday request was to do and see something that I haven't seen before and the first place I could think of was Crabtree Falls. I have wanted to take this hike for sometime now and was very happy that we chose yesterday to finally go. It is getting colder now so it was a bit chilly at the bottom of the falls but the hike out got our heart racing. Total it ended up being a moderately strenuous 2.5 mile loop. There was also camping at Crabtree Meadows with tent sites & hook-ups; I was jealous of the folks gathered round the fires and I so wished that we were able to camp but we didn't. There will be some time for that when we get back from Vegas, soon enough. I am so very excited about Fall and the magnificent colors it brings - it's an absolutely beautiful time of the year. Living in Boone you are exposed to actual seasons that change unlike Florida. Winter is a trying time but you get used to it after a while, last year it only snowed like 5-6 times it seems. I enjoy the snow, it makes me feel like a kid again. Snowball fights are pretty darned fun too. Listen to me; it's only getting down to about 54 right now which isn't too too cold but the house is poorly insulated and it feels a lot colder inside the house than it really is outside! We'll worry about those sorts of things when we get back from our trip though - window covering, heater, wood............. On top of that our water heater is acting up right now. The water doesn't get very cold which is no good because it makes me so tense to try and shower under that cold water I just can't take it. Maybe I'll try not to bathe until Vegas! ewe gross........whatever cause I do that all the time, hahaha. Well, on that note I'm going to take my dirty behind to the kitchen and clean up.

And many more................

Here is the homemade birthday card that Cody had waiting for me on my pillow when I got back from the bathroom this morning. I just knew he was up to something yesterday when I got home from work because he had the guiltiest look on his face! But either way it's an awesome card now you have to make sure that you talk like a Rastafarian when you read the card mon'!!! I really like how he did the letters by twisting strips of paper, I'm going to make him show me how to do it later. I'm hoping to get a massage today instead of waiting for the outrageous prices in Vegas, I'll definitely get more for "Cody's" money here in Boone. The weather is absolutely perfect here right now - I just love this time of year in the mountains. And today is so unbelievably clear how could we resist getting outside for a hike. I haven't done a whole lot to prepare for Vegas although over the weekend I do plan on figuring out what I'm going to take with me. I've got to keep in mind that we are only there for four days so I don't need to over do it with the over-packing. I would like to find another pair of jeans but I haven't had any luck with shopping lately. Even last night didn't produce any results.........Once I'm there it won't matter a whole lot I'm sure so there is no need for me to get worked up. I can't believe we are now only 3 days away before we whisk ourselves off to the city that never sleeps. I know that I'm going to have to give all I got to keep up since I fair going to bed early now. I'm sure it will be hard to sleep with all the excitement so I'll be able to manage. This week we called and made reservations at the restaurant that I have dreamed about eating at since I saw the ad in my guide to Vegas. It's the "Top of the World Restaurant" in the Stratosphere Hotel; our reservations are for the sunset so I'm looking forward to the amazing view during dinner. Aside from outdoor activities I think that we'll mostly be playing it by ear. I wasn't really up for an itinerary that made me feel rushed in anyway during our visit. Of course we won't get to experience everything but we'll get around - if you know what I mean. Okay, I suppose that I've had enough lazing around the house it's time for me to figure out the plans for the day since it's my BIRTHDAY!!!!

Tired but Good

The pure, the bright,
The beautiful that stirred our hearts in youth,
The impulses to wordless prayer,
The streams of love and truth,
The longing after something lost,
The spirit's yearning cry,
The striving after better hopes;
These things can never die.
The timid hand stretched forth to aid a brother in his need,
A kindly word in grief's dark hour that proves a friend indeed;
The plea for mercy softly breathed,
When justice threatens high,
The sorrow of a contrite heart;
These things shall never die, shall never die.
Let nothing pass,
For every hand must find some work to do,
Lose not a chance to waken love.
Be firm and just and true,
So shall a light that cannot fade beam on thee from on high,
And angel voices say to thee;
These things can never die.
-Charles Dickens

Speed of Light

All day I've had daydreams about the science of Superman - and how handy would it be in fact to have the amazing ability to harness time. His powers are said to turn back time by reversing the rotation of the earth. Not that I want to go back in time.............I really just want it to speed up! Have you ever seen that movie "CLICK" with Adam Sandler? This movie as far as I'm concerned shows you what a curse it would be if we had the ability to accelerate time. With his little remote he ended up fast forwarding through more time than he realized and in the end paid for it dearly. He let all of life's little moments pass him by without thinking of the consequences. It's no wonder that when you actually have something to look forward to that the time drags by just a little bit slower because you're paying such close attention. As if life is supposed to be so much sweeter when we relish every stinking moment..............alright, alright..........I'm not that jaded I have the ability to appreciate the little things in life as adequately as the next guy but our everyday lives aren't always that defined. Generally I wake up at the same time everyday, get to work at the same time everyday, get home around the same time, cook dinner early enough every evening at the same time, & try to go to bed at the same time every night but not before I write at least one page in my journal about my day or how I'm if that's your idea of exciting then I'm missing something. I most importantly look forward to my weekends which is really the only time I genuinely feel like ME - you know why? It's because I get to pick where I want to go and what I want to do.................I facilitate my weekend experiences to be however exciting or boring I feel they should be. Normally, I have the strongest urge to be outdoors especially since I'm couped up in the windowless office you hear about so much. That is something I need to keep reminding myself of - why? Because, that just isn't what I want for the rest of my life. To have a menial job that shows nothing of who I am or what I am really capable of. Knowing that this is how I feel makes it that much harder for me to go in everyday. It's only a matter of time before I've reached my limit, honestly my body can't take sitting in a chair every single day which is all the more reason why I shouldn't be doing it. Not that I'm going to go apply for disability or anything but I need to do what is in my best interest. I envision my life playing out a certain way as I have never done before and you know I like what I see. It is just a matter of making it happen. Mark my words.

Corn Maze

So, the Sunday Craze was a good ol' fashion Corn Maze. Once we were there the excitement started to fill the air. You see I had never been in a Corn Maze before so I was looking forward to it. This maze had somewhat of a purpose if you can imagine - once we paid our admission we were given a bright yellow card with questions, six to be exact. And the object was to find these mailboxes scattered throughout the maze which contained the answers to all questions on our yellow card. Once we entered we could hear the son of the family before us yell "I found one!" which got my butt in gear. We sped up to try and follow their voices thinking that we would find the one they were at, but we didn't. Thankfully we found the boxes on our own without cheating! haha Once we were found all of our boxes we exited the maze and the family that had gone in about 10 minutes before us were just coming out as well. Once we were up at the ticket tent the owner lady made the comment about how fast Cody and I had gotten through the maze - according to her we may have the Corn Maze scavenger hunt record!!! hahaha I know I'm a dork but who cares cause we won. Technically, we really didn't win anything but whatever. Anyhow, with our admission we were also entitled to a free round of "sling shot try to get the tennis ball in the inter tubes in the middle of the lake game" (do you have a shorter name?!) This was pretty fun, by this time we were reduced to a child like demeanor as we launched the balls with the human sized slingshots. Neither one of us got it in the middle of a tube although I did hit one which counted for something. All in all we had an awesome time. The owners were watching me take pictures and at the end asked if I would mind emailing them the copies if I got anything good to update their website. I have thought about the maze a number of times today and I actually want to go back to play again (maybe after Vegas though) and hopefully not be so rushed. We didn't get there until 6:10 or so and they were only open till 7 but we made the best of it and had a great time. O' to be a youngster again................

Sunday Craze

I do believe in magic. I was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. When I was twelve, the words was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow I saw the past, the present, and into the future. We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see out destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put in the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we’re told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wilderness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad at what they allowed to whither in themselves. After you get so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. You can have seconds of it. Just seconds of knowing and remembering. When people get all weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater, the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. Then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heartsad and not knowing why. For the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm. The truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. We get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. Things happen to us. Loved ones die. People get in wrecks, and get crippled. It’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. Life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. You don’t know its happening until one day you feel like you’ve lost something, but you’re not sure what it is.
~Robert McCammon~

Card Concoction

I try to do constructive things during the week once I get home from work. Aside from cleaning up which really isn't all that fun but I still have to wash dishes sometimes, check the mail, make the bed, etc. Not that Cody doesn't do his fair share or anything I'm just a stickler when it comes to keeping this in order. If I go without making the bed it will somehow alter my mood entirely, even if I don't have to look at it. Somehow my internal system just know that the bed is a mess and there are dishes left in the sink. I am more motivated to do things when the house is decently clean. In the recent past I was probably considered to have OCD but I've gotten a lot more relaxed. Especially since being in the mountains!
Can I be any more off subject right now?! Okay, so I was just showing you the cards I have made this week. The ones above are from a design on a photo box that I have which gave me the idea to put it on a card. It looked cool to me that's all. I took me a while to do just two. I've got to figure out easier ways to cut things out. Cody suggested a die-cutting machine after doing a little research. I have vowed not to buy any of these new supplies until AFTER Vegas though. And it's killing me cause there are some really neat papers and stamps that I have been looking at in the Walmart. haha But I'll be patient, I'll wait...........
The card below is a Quail that I found in an ad that I thought looked cool. Maybe you can see the little square above the actual card with the logo. On my board I drew the Quail out by hand then I cut out each piece so that I could use it to trace out on the color paper. It ended up being slightly longer than the card but o well if it won't fit into a regular envelope! I really liked the end result either way. Although it may not be finished after I let it sit for a while. That seems to be my problem though big time - I started this tree a couple weeks ago taking my first stab at "Art Journaling" and I haven't finished it yet. I keep thinking that it's missing something......
Anyhow, I'm super excited that it's finally FRIDAY although it's all gross and rainy outside right now. Tonight Cody and I are going to travel down the mountain to go to the mall. I'm on a mission to find some cute tops to wear for Vegas!! And I did go to the piddly mall here but found only one shirt that I liked; hopefully I will have more luck in a "real" mall. It's been a while since I've gone shopping, I don't enjoy it as much as I used to. But that's just because I'm cheap and try my best to save more than I spend. That's a good thing though.

~Wiseman's View~

September Meditation

I do not know if the seasons remember their history or if the days and
nights by which we count time remember their own passing.

I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting or if the pine
remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars.
I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall's gathering or if the
bluejay remembers the meaning of snow.
I do not know if the air remembers September or if the night remembers

the moon.
I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring or if
the evergreen remembers that it shall stay so.
Perhaps that is the reason for our births -- to be the memory for
Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected.
Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:
"What can you tell me about September?"
~ Burton D. Carley ~

*The September Meditation was brought to you courtesy of Cody's mom, Lee. I always love when you get a message from someone that simply lets you know that the thought of you crossed their mind -- for whatever reason. When I think of someone randomly I will generally pop them a quick message or email and sometimes even a call. Maintaining ties has become so important to me, more so now that I'm almost 500 miles away from where I spent the first 25 years of my life. I communicate with those I love in so many different ways; not everyone gets a homemade card or an email or a package. I mean my Mom doesn't even have a computer and would really not know what to do with it if she had one, hahaha. But I still love her and have to somehow manage to let her know. I don't call her as often as I should, but then again I don't call anyone nearly as often as I should. My days of spending hours on the phone are long gone -- now there I go; making myself feel old! I have always liked giving and receiving cards because to me they are so personal. Even if they say very little it's the sentiment behind it that matters the most. I'm sure not everyone feels the same way but you should try it sometime. Really, it requires much less effort than you would imagine. And the emotions evoked when received, come on, I love to brighten someones day in that way. I don't come off as the warmest person you will ever meet but I have my moments. I still try to take other peoples feelings into consideration even though I'm usually wrapped up in my own life. But I care. I have some of the most awesome friends, people who I don't necessarily speak to regularly but still know they are there if and when I should need them. Very supportive and encouraging, especially when it comes to my art. I love to know that they like a picture or blurb I shared on a particular day -- we all need that positive reinforcement in our life from time to time. Otherwise what are we doing it for?! I know one thing: I DO THIS FOR YOU!


Here are two postcards I received in the mail last week! You'll notice that one is from Cody while he was away on vacation in Cape Hatteras and the other is from one of my most favorite people Christie. Christie was in New York for the US Open and while there she sent me a postcard to add to my ever growing collection! Isn't she awesome.........and let's not forget Cody as he brought home a ton of postcards. What was funny is after I looked through them all naturally I picked out my most favorite ones which happened to be the ones that Cody selected as being the ones I would like most. I suppose that after being with someone for more than a year you start picking up on those sorts of things, huh?!
HELP ME ADD TO MY COLLECTION: If anyone is interested in sending me a postcard from your hometown or travel destination please send me an email & I will gladly forward my mailing address.

Greeting From Cape Hatteras

©Cody Maddox 2007

Super jealous of the lost photo ops had I went along on the beach trip to Cape Hatteras with Cody and his co-workers but then again I would have been the only chick and, well, that's no fun. But being the best beau a girl could imagine he did not come home empty handed. He took a few snapshots and this one happens to be my absolute favorite, isn't it amazing! After seeing this I really wished that I sat there by his side to watch the sunsets on the beach. Along with some photos Cody brought back a fair share of postcards--somewhere around 10 I think! I will post those once I get the opportunity to scan them in. It's been a long time since my feet have touched the sand, it makes me a little home sick. Come November it will make a year since I've been back to Florida and believe me I miss my family so very much. They are never far from my thoughts.............


Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

~Thomas Haynes Bayly

This is something that I remember my Grandmother telling me at one point when I was younger and my heart longed for what ever it was I felt was missing. And throughout my years on more than one occasion I have reverted to that quote for solace. I just can't tell you how happy I was to get home from work on Friday to once again wrap my arms around the one I have so awfully missed. It was like he was never even gone. Almost immediately we were back to normal - talking about what we were going to have for dinner, etc. The height of our beatitudes have yet to fade, I wonder how long it will last until we are "really" back to normal?! Those are questions better left unanswered, how about I simply enjoy it for however long it decides to last. Together again -- all is well.

True Blue

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

Come, as thou cam'st a thousand times,
A messenger from radiant climes,
And smile on thy new world, and be
As kind to others as to me!

Or, as thou never cam'st in sooth,
Come now, and let me dream it truth,
And part my hair, and kiss my brow,
And say, My love why sufferest thou?

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.

~ "Longing" by Matthew Arnold

*It seems like it's been days since I've laughed, I miss your face and the way you can usually conjure a smile on mine. The week has felt like nothing short of an eternity while waiting for you to return home. I'm such a sap now, sheez. But without my partner in crime things just aren't the same. I'm just as shocked at how I've been handling this as much as the next person.....or anyone who actually knows me. It just goes to show you how much I've changed. In such a short amount of time my life has taken turns that I would have never conceived but I suppose that's the way it goes. It wouldn't be such a ride if we knew what was in store. And as I am a glutton for punishment I wouldn't have it any other way.

Beauty of the Morning

It has been an old comparison for our urging on - the Beehive; however, it seems to me that we should rather be the flower than the Bee - for it is a false notion that more is gained by receiving than giving - no, the receiver and the giver are equal in their benefits. The flower, I doubt not, receives a fair guerdon from the Bee - its leaves blush deeper in the next spring - and who shall say between man and woman which is the most delighted? Now it is more noble to sit like Jove than to fly like Mercury - let us not therefore go hurrying about and collecting honey, bee-like buzzing here and there impatiently from a knowledge of what is to be aimed at; but let us open our leaves like a flower and be passive and receptive - budding patiently under the eye of Apollo and taking hints from every noble insect that favours us with a visit - sap will be given us for meat and dew for drink.
~An excerpt from a letter to John Hamilton Reynolds written by John Keats
February 19th 1818

I am so ready for the weekend so that I may linger in my bed as long as I feel the need, I have slept very poorly for the past few nights tossing and turning every which way. Deprived of sleep I can hardly pull myself together to make it to work and concentrating, well, that's another story. But being the supreme I seem to manage just fine. Although there really isn't a whole lot to look forward to as I crawl into my windowless office where I'm bound in a position that makes my muscles scream. By the end of the day I'm beat, by the end of the week - I'm a whole lot of something other than "beat". My body does not like being in that chair all day, and why would it?! I could be out there doing things and seeing things that move me in ways it would be worth bearing any sort of pain or discomfort. I dream of the days where the sun touches my cheeks and my eyes behold that which I have yet to bear witness................It seems like such a shame to miss 5 days of beautiful mornings; wasted.


Dreams come true. Without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them.

~John Updike

My days have been filled with a series of "countdowns" lately. I hate to say that right now I'm barely hanging on but I call it like I see it. Maybe I'm just being dramatic, yeah that's it. So, back to countdowns..........days until Cody gets back to Boone, days until the weekend is here yet again, and last but not least days until we go to Vegas! Last night my Sister confirmed that she would be joining us for the trip which I'm extremely excited about. For one it's been since November since I've seen her and two this will be good for her. She's been just as sheltered as me when it comes to traveling. But we're making up for it, big time.

Soon Enough

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin--real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
~Alfred D. Souza

I have ached to be on the open road since my first taste of freedom. For a long time I have merely thought about the places I've wanted to go instead of just facing my fears and getting on with it. It kills me to think of the time I've lost in between realizations although not being the same person then that I am now by the laws of the universe wouldn't have allowed that to happen any sooner than it did. Life is full of so many ups and downs and I can't keep up with whether I'm coming or going sometimes. Last week wasn't what I could classify as anything I care to relive. I'm happy that it's now behind me and I can move on. I've got some plans to make and some things to look forward to and by Friday everything will be back to normal. Thursday is when Cody will be back from his beach vacation with his co-workers. I miss him A LOT! The entire time that we've been together you have rarely found us apart, it's good for us. Makes me appreciate him that much more................I am thankful, indeed.

NC Arboretum ~ Montage

This past Saturday we went to the North Carolina Arboretum and we had an awesome time!
With over 430 acres the Arboretum is a public garden that sits within the Pisgah National Forest and the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. The photo above features all of the great things we saw during our visit. Along with the hiking trails and gardens they also had a huge greenhouse, education center, and exhibit center as well. This week I will share some of my favorite pictures from the Arboretum so check back. While there we saw a fantastic exhibit of watercolor paintings by Anne Vasilik in the Baker Exhibit Center. Also showcased was a lady named Barbara Webster who creates quilts from nature photographs. Some of them were really awesome.
We took our time walking in and around the gardens taking many pictures, of course. Then to get the blood flowing we hopped on the Carolina Mountain Trail which meandered through the Bent Creek for a few miles. It was definitely a fun filled day, I would love to go back some time to participate in the various demonstrations they have throughout the year. It was a beautiful place!

This past weekend we went to the NC Arboretum, although this is not a picture from Saturday. I haven't taken the time to sort through my new pictures yet but hopefully tonight I will feel up to it.