Blue Ridge Apartments

When I Was 69

When I Was 69
Click pic to go to "When I Was 69"

Monday, September 30, 2013

Fall colors

Craggy Gardens has just a few colors, besides the great orange berries.  2009

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mt. Mitchell colors

The meandering road is I-40 between Asheville and Knoxville.  Taken Oct. 2009, Blue Ridge Parkway

Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall is coming

Just being out in the sunshine is great, enjoying a view is a blessing.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Not secret, or is it?

If you like to drink a bit of locally brewed beer (really good!) And if you like to nibble on a lot of different tasting foods prepared by local chefs with mostly local missed it.

The Tailgate Market fundraiser was held on a Thurs evening.  When?  Where?
It was in a big field behind a practically invisible brewery in an industrial park which has a sign that's maybe 2 feet by 8 inches...on a lesser highway.  Only people who really want to go to Pisgah Brewery find it, and usually not on the first try driving along Old Hwy 70 near Grovestone Quarry at North Fork Rd, across from the Veterans Cemetery.  Try using a GPS to find that!

Serious shoppers were getting ready to bid for silent auction on great products!

The Tailgate Market in Black Mountain usually gathers under tents behind the First Baptist church Saturday mornings.

Once a year they have a gala event.  This has been on a Thursday for the last few years...held in this  big field, with lots of tents.

Not as many people came this year as last.  The food was better than ever, I thought. Weather was great, coolish and not humid.  And there was a tented seating area with tables for those of us who have trouble holding a glass of beer as well as a plate while eating.  The silent auction was twice as big, with great donations to be bid upon.

Beware, more gripes follow!

I went over to the Tailgate Market on a rainy Saturday morning last weekend to get my pastries and fresh produce.  The parking situation was deplorable.  It meant that nobody who had never been there would ever be able to find it...I know a double negative.  That's what it felt like.

The market might survive a rainy day, because a stroll with an umbrella is still a doable thing.  It limits the usual gang of folks with their dogs, as well as families with little kids running all over the place.

But for the 3rd  time (or more) there was construction such that the parking lot beside the market was not available for Tailgate Market customers.   The market was completely invisible from both Montreat Rd as well as the parking lot that was available...and there was yellow tape across places that walking should have been allowed.

How does a Tailgate Market survive long without a place to park?  How can people who are visitors to Black Mountain find it and support these local businesses? 

The signage for the market has become almost invisible too this year.  Little green signs may look fine in design, but they certainly don't catch a tourist's eye as they drive through town, especially when lower than any car that might block them, as they might be read if you stood right in front of them with small low-contrast lettering.

That rainy Saturday morning only a few vendors were there, and even fewer customers.  The vendors who did come probably bought from each other.  This is a real shame.

It's time for some big changes for the Tailgate Market.  I wonder what they'll be.  There are goods that people want.  There are people who delight in a Tailgate Market, coming from out of town, or living nearby.  And there are people with plenty of things to sell them.

My editorializing is my personal opinion, and should not be considered a reflection from any friends at the market.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My first color

A dogwood shimmered in delightful colors on Sunday last.

It was the bright light of sunshine on Equinox, after a day of cool rain which washed any dust away.  Everything looked sparkling.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My home

Plenty of parking out front of the living room.  Front door is on right and enters into a small studio area where I create in clay.  The living room is nice a light and big, facing south.  One bedroom is at the back of the building, and also is pretty big.  Between living and bedroom are the bath and kitchen.  The small addition on the uphill side is a laundry room, with a door identical to the front door on the other side.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

French Broad River

Last Sunday we had a celebration (Blessing of Water) by the French Broad River.

I posted pictures and comments over on my blog "When I was 69" where more personal aspects of my life are journalled.

But when sitting in peace by the river, I had to share it here with you.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Above your neighbors

If you lived in Florida, being above your neighbors would mean a floor upstairs, probably in a multi-storied or tower type building.

Here in the mountains, it's pretty different.  And gives you a view not only of their roof, but a vista as well.'

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Town Square details

The plan for the Town Square, hanging from one of the tents so there's a rope holding either the plan or the tent down.

The concert on Saturday (see yesterday's post for more pictures) attracted more and more people as it continued for about an hour.

The Swayback Sisters entertained everyone.

An announcement was made that the bathrooms would be open this week.  This is the stage of construction at the moment of the announcement.  I decided you didn't really need a picture of the current facilities (blue plastic portable box stationed nearby).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Concert on the Square

Saturday I happened to be driving by the corner of US 70 and US 9, which is the heart of Black Mountain...Also known as State Street (the east-west street) and Montreat (the north-south street).
And that's where the Black Mountain Town Square (future) is located.  And that's where the concert was just starting!

The Swayback Sisters gave a very enjoyable performance in bright sunshine.

So bright and warm that some of us sheltered under the entertainment tent from the heat, but the cool mountain breeze was still enjoyable.

Woman in red shirt gave a clogging performance!
This concert was a fund raiser for the park which eventually will be built in this location.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bear visitors

Not my own picture!
They are in the woods, we who live in the mountains know this, and are prepared if we're hiking, hopefully.

Now is their season of visiting the towns, helping themselves to garbage bags.  One has been seen dragging a whole bag along with him.

At my house I had the bedroom windows open the other night, and could smell him.  They eat garbage, so you know what they must smell like.  I looked out and didn't see him, but there are corners and bushes aplenty to hide behind.  That was the night neighbors on the other side of Hwy. 9 put out their garbage to be picked up before 8 garbage trucks.  Sometimes by bears.

The next night,  my garbage was out and when I woke at 8, it had been tumped over and Mr. Bear had found the foil in which I cooked my fish.  All the kitty food cans were washed before putting them out. He didn't care for the banana peels I guess. I used another garbage bag and picked up the strewn garbage, waiting for the truck to back up my steep road and take it away.  At the top of our hill there's a big estate with lots of woods, and then cross a few residential streets (not travelled much at night) and you are home free to woods all the way to Mt. Mitchell.

Now my problem this week is the chicken carcass.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ale anyone?

It's a bit difficult to find, at least if you're looking for this sign as you travel from I-40 north on US-9, but look on your left for this and...
the comfortable tables outside the back of the Ale House.  I have heard there's a trivia game on Tuesday nights in which my friends can't be beat.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

German food

Berliner Kindl serves German style food right on the main street (US 9) in Black Mountain.  I enjoyed one of my first meals out with friends and family who helped me move here six years ago.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Tailgate Benefit next Thurs, 9.19.13

It's coming up...the Plates & Pints benefit party.

And here's all the details from the press release:
 Contact: Joan Engelhardt                               For Immediate Release
Phone: 828-669-8722                        August 28, 2013


Black Mountain chefs team up with the Black Mountain Tailgate Market to prepare a "taste of the market" benefit event on Thursday, September 19 from 4-7 p.m. on the field at Pisgah Brewing Company, 150 Eastside Drive in Black Mountain, NC. The event, entitled "Local Plates, Local Pints 2013,” features samples of foods from market farmers and producers prepared by Black Mountain chefs, Pisgah beer samples and a Silent Auction.

Participating chefs are: Cookie Hadley, The Morning Glory Café; Carl Tayloe, Que Sera; Kris Hegge and Bud Rainey, Louise's Kitchen; Mark Tomczak, FRESH Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta and Marcus Duarte, The Red Radish.

The locally known and loved, Crooked Pine Band, featuring Craig Bannerman, Frank McConnell and Marion Boatwright, will perform their special brand of Appalachian-Americana roots music.

Face painting, a special play area and activities make this a kid-friendly event.

Advance ticket price is $20, kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at the Black Mountain Tailgate Market on Saturdays, The Merry Wine Market in Black Mountain and online at Ticket sales and silent auction benefit the Black Mountain Tailgate Market. This is a best-of-local event celebrating our community’s chefs, food and music.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Dobra has arrived

Coming into Black Mountain from I-40, on your left after the second traffic signal, this quiet low building sits back from the road a bit.

It's the new Dobra Tea house...a tea drinking experience that is truly a ritual with simplicity and enjoyment at heart.  (Don't expect an English style tea room!) 

I've not stopped in for tea yet, but have visited the Dobra Tea Room in Asheville on Lexington.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

More gardening

Not a very clear picture of one of the surviving roses.  I bought it because it was supposed to smell nice.  Only the first 2 blooms did, but I did save their petals.  The other bush was supposed to be yellow roses, but didn't have any buds open when I purchased it.  It has red flowers.  Don't believe whatever Home Depot puts on those labels!  They are still alive, so the guarantee doesn't matter.  And I like them anyway.

Here's the one zinnia that bloomed.  I've never had zinnia failure till this year with too much rain. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sometimes it just dies

In 2 days my little avocado just died ...completely full of water, then dried it out in case it was the dread damp.  Still dead however.  Poor thing.

All my potted plants shared the wilt from too much rain...though they have now been getting good sunshine.  I don't know if this Chrysanthemum will survive.  Maybe.

I will have to get another to replace it, because I love those purple blooms in the fall to contrast with the reds and golds and browns.

Question to gardeners...can I use the same dirt, or do I need to replace it because of the moisture rotting the older plant?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Last of this garden

Yes this is the same little garden plot, about 6 feet long, which used to be against the fence.  (Fence was removed last week, and is due to be replaced with a nice wood one)  And it also held my beautiful tomato plants, and a "long bean" plant for much of the summer.

I'm sitting here eating my last tomato in luncheon salad.  It has been in the fridge for a week or so, but still tastes good.

The tomato plants all rotted and needed to be pulled out completely a few weeks ago.  I picked the last ones that didn't have mold inside, ripened a few on the windowsill, threw out those that rotted.  Such a great help for the compost.

I froze some of my long beans...which turned out to be tender and delicious.  I wasn't very timely on picking them at their peak, so missed having as much crop as I could have.

Gardener Barbara is learning what her limitations are.  So this winter I'm trying more yoga, and maybe next spring I'll be able to be on my knees more.  And get up without so much difficulty.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


I not only got a kick out of this bumper sticker, but there is the phone camera reflected, with my hands as well, in the chrome on the bumper.

I'll have to send this in to Weekend Reflections...I haven't participated in a while.  Come on over and see what everyone else is up to!

Fall is almost here

I was checking the trees when I was on the parkway the week before Labor Day.  Nothing had changed colors up there I'm going to have to go up again in a few weeks.

I wanted to share a picture of  my friends who now live in Washington state, and myself on the right.  Perhaps they will see fall colors before I do.

Maybe we can have a contest!  I don't think I should allow my relatives in Connecticut to enter it, however.  And then there are my blogger Canadian friends! 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Steps toward change

This green expanse is planned to become a park, right in the center of Black Mountain.  To raise funds for this park, there are concerts being given on Sat. afternoons.  But unfortuantly I've had other things planned on the days the concerts were held.  I think I've got one more chance.

In the mean time, the pretty blue port-o-potty is being replaced by a real bathroom building. 

Having the windows open today for nice cool breezes means I hear birds doing all they can think of to do.  And the swish of traffic on Montreat Rd (just one house down the hill from me).  And I just heard a slight noise that nobody wants to hear, that of one metal object bumping into another.  No braking sounds, and it was a while before the next car came by to slow down and see whatever one car did to another.  That took all of 2 minutes, and now there's no sound of anyone slowing down.  Since there's a big ditch on my side of the road, whoever may have pulled over must have gone either into a driveway or another road.  But at least I don't hear any sirens, yet.  And I just heard an engine start up, so perhaps insurance information has been shared and the parties are satisfied.  Or maybe it was just one bumper to another without any damage.  That would be nice.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Asheville's reservoir

I posted a picture the other day (don't remember when, so I'll load it up again for you) of the Asheville Watershed sign on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  There's a really good attempt to keep the water pristine that rolls down these slopes into Burnett Reservoir.

From the Craggy Garden Visitors Center, you can see the reservoir, and on a clear day get a great picture.

The State of NC is trying to take control of the Asheville water away from local government, and Asheville is fighting against it, to keep our local water under local control is very important to us.

Sorry, I fell asleep at the switch, so to speak, and didn't post this at my usual early morning time.  But here it is now.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rain clouds again

Well, that would be really boring, pictures of rain clouds.  So I had to drive as far as I felt like taking pictures the other day, to the Visitors Center at Craggy Gardents on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  There wasn't much point in going any further as the weather rolled in.

This visitor's center is nestled alongside the road, with Craggy Gardens (the name of this peak) above.  And if you look closely you can see the hikers standing on the rocks where clouds are rolling along.  No of course you can't see them.  Let's try a bit of cropping and enlarging.

Ok, try again...


So you walk into the very small Visitors Center, and are struck by the moldy odor.  The door is kept wide open, but windows that have clouds pushing at them are closed.  The woodburning stove in the corner isn't lit today.  And the little building has been closed for a month with the road construction.  I comment upon this to the National Park employee, who says, no it always smells like this, it's so damp up here.

I wander around looking at interesting displays.  Do I need a new bumper sticker? 

The bear is already there, a souvenir from Mt. Mitchell.  I won't be going that far today...clouds don't make for good vistas.

Hikers have disappeared, even the top of Craggy Gardens is swaddled in clouds.