Snowpocalypse

It’s a snow day here in Alabama!!  And it came fast and with fury..  Since last night’s weather report predicted we would only get a light dusting, no one expected the frozen mess we have now.  It’s beautiful outside, don’t get me wrong.  As long as you aren’t in a car on the road.  News flash- no one in Alabama knows how to drive in the snow.  We don’t have chains, the roads weren’t salted, and everyone (including my husband) who got up and went to work this morning when everything was fine, are now trying to get home (or get to schools and preschools to get their kids) and the roads are a complete disaster.  Cars are sliding everywhere, interstate traffic is barely moving, some people are just abandoning their cars and walking somewhere for shelter or to get home.  The news is filled with video footage all over town of people trying to help one another push cars along the roads, towing cars out of ditches, and offering their businesses for shelter to those who are stranded and unable to get home.  Thank goodness I don’t have to work tomorrow, cause I would have to probably start driving now and spend the night at the hospital.  Most the staff at the hospital today will be spending the night and probably working overtime tomorrow.  It is a hot frozen mess.  That’s a snow day in dixie for ya 😉

Meanwhile, I’ve been home with the pups kinda enjoying the snow.  I woke up and took some pics around the house and then took the dogs across the street to run around the field for a bit.  They were loving the snow!  I did have to make a small trip to our renter’s house (about half a mile down the road) to take them a spare key. I debated walking, but it’s just too dang cold!  The crazy part is as soon as I drove on the roads one way, they were completely re-covered in snow on the trip back.  When I opened my car door a small avalanche fell into my driver’s seat!  haha. This is just nothing we are used to dealing with here in Alabama.

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Lake Day Fun

Yesterday after church Greg and I took all the dogs down to the lake where my mom and Dwayne had been camping for the weekend.  The weather was nice so they had invited us to come join them at the lake.  To add to the fun, we asked our friends John and Leah if they wanted to join us.  So they did and they had their dog Josie with them.  We arrived around mid-afternoon and first we just wandered around the property taking John and Leah around to see the area.  We walked over to the dam to check that area out, and of course the dogs were loving running around together!  Then we just hung around on the dock, throwing the ball with the dogs, watching them swim, and enjoying the sunshine.  The boys decided to go fishing for a while, so mom, Leah and I hung out on the dock.  The weather was great!  Not hot, but perfectly sunny and warm.  And it’s so quiet and peaceful at the lake.

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We had some fun tossing the ball just barely off the edge of the dock.  Jack and Josie were hilarious trying to reach down and grab it.  Jack doesn’t like jumping in to get it if it’s just right in front of him (I guess he realizes it seems pointless to waste all that energy when it’s just right there). But yet he can’t reach it!  So they just whine and stretch and hover over it, and it DRIVES THEM CRAZY!!  But it’s too funny for us!! 😉  Josie finally would jump in right on top of it to get it!Apr21-lake (17) Apr21-lake (14) Apr21-lake (18)Apr21-lake (23) Apr21-lake (20)Apr21-lake (16)

Apr21-lake (27) Apr21-lake (33) Apr21-lake (36) Apr21-lake (37) Apr21-lake (44) Apr21-lake (45)Apr21-lake (39)We took a break for dinner before it started getting dark.  We grilled hamburgers and enjoyed dinner on the picnic table.  Then Leah and I got to go out with the boys to fish just a little bit longer.  But no luck this time.  Such a fun day though!!  So glad to spend it with family and friends 🙂

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Lake Day with the Pups

Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day here in Alabama. It was warm and sunny, and a great day for a trip to the lake.  Greg was out of town at a work conference Friday and Saturday.  My mom and Dwayne were heading down to their lake property so Dwayne could do some yard work.  So knowing I was home alone, they asked me if I wanted to bring the dogs down for a day at the lake, and I jumped on the opportunity of a fun day 🙂Mar17-lake (1) Mar17-lake (59) Mar17-lake (60)My grandaddy and his buddies built this lake ohhhh, maybe 50 yrs ago. Does that sound right, mom?  So we’ve had property on it ever since.  It’s very secluded. There aren’t any houses directly on the lake, and you’re not allowed to run a large boat motor on the lake…just a simple trolling motor for fishing.  It’s a lake made for the simple life.  And it’s PERFECT for a bunch of dogs to run around having the time of their life. Mar17-lake (38)Mar17-lake (22)Mar17-lake (24) Mar17-lake (37)Mar17-lake (17)Mar17-lake (16)  Mar17-lake (13) Mar17-lake (12)

Jack literally played fetch…either with the ball or frisbee, in the water and on land…for basically 3 straight hours.  And Lily just chased him pretty much the whole time. Dwayne was chopping down trees along the bank of the dam, so me and mom (and the dogs) wandered all around on top of the dam and around the slew.Mar17-lake (6)Mar17-lake (58) Mar17-lake (14)Mar17-lake (15)Mar17-lake (44) Mar17-lake (42)Mar17-lake (51) Mar17-lake (57)After I got home I realized I got some MAJOR sunburn on my arms, neck and chest.  And looking back at this picture now you can see it starting!  Oh well. First burn of the season. It always happens. Mar17-lake (45)Mar17-lake (46)Finally at the end of the day, all the dogs started to relax.  Jack was whooped!! I’ve seriously never seen him so tired.  He was like a zombie when we got home. Greg couldn’t believe it.  It was a goooood day for the dogs 😉  And the humans too.  I enjoyed hanging out with mom and Dwayne for the day!

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weekend mountain getaway

I know I’ve mentioned before that 2 of my good friends and I met Greg and his 2 buddies, and then we all ended up marring these boys.  So the 6 of us are of course still good friends, but we haven’t hung out just the 6 of us in a while.  Well we all took a couples weekend to head to the mountains and it was so much fun!  And I think the best part was that we brought our “children.”  Yep, we found a pet-friendly cabin to rent, and so the lab family and Lily came along with us.  I was so great having them all there, and we even joked about how it was good training for when we all have kids one day, cause we all chipped in and helped take responsibility of all the dogs.  John, Leah, Greg and I headed out of town Friday around noon, so we had time to explore the mountain area before getting to our cabin.  We stopped at Mercier Orchards country store, tasted and bought some home-brewed hard cider and fudge, and I stocked up on more cornbread mix.

We wound our way through the mountains, past the Ocoee River, then on into north GA to the Blue Ridge mountains towards our cabin.

 

Friday night it rained pretty hard, so once we unloaded everything, we just spent the rest of the night hanging out in the cabin watching the Olympics and waiting for Dana and Chesley to arrive.  And leave it to us to welcome them with a bang.  There was a Christmas tree set-up in the den of the cabin, so there might have been some dancing and Trans Siberian Orchestra Carol of the Bells going on upon their arrival.  We like to keep things interesting 😉

 

Saturday we slept in a bit, made breakfast, and then eventually around lunchtime made it out to start our adventures in the mountains.  We headed to Olympic park at the Ocoee River to get some maps and make a game plan for the day.

 We drove just a bit further down the river and found a trail along creek that fed into the river.  We hiked up through the creek and along a trail till we found the perfect waterfall and swimming hole for the dogs to play in.

 

 There was a waterfall that the guys slid down, and the labradors were LOVING swimming around and fetching giant sticks.  Lily, however, is not always a fan of swimming.  It’s hit or miss with her, and usually a miss.  It’s like it stresses her out that the other dogs are in the water.  She just paces and whines the whole time.  We’ll make her get in sometimes, but she usually jumps right back out and runs along the bank again.

 
 This is Jack and Lola. They are brother and sister. Jack is ours, and Lola belongs to Dana and Chesley.  The other black lab with us is Josie, one of Lola’s puppies from last year, and she belongs to John and Leah.
 
 
 
 Greg and Jack
 
 
 family photo (although we left Sophie at home with mom and Dwayne)

After hanging out in the river we headed back to the cabin to drop off the dogs and then we left again in search of a trout pond where we could fish for trout and just pay by the pound for what we caught.  Since we weren’t taking the dogs, all 6 of us just piled in Greg’s truck and we were off.  Greg was using his phone maps app to get us there, but after winding through the mountains, around farmlands, on dirt roads for almost an hour, we still couldn’t find it.  The phone would say we were there, but there was nothing.  We decided to head back, but when we passed a road sign that matched up with our map, we made one more last ditch effort to follow it and see if we got lucky.  FINALLY, we rounded a corner and saw a tiny sign for The Trout Pond!  But….

It was a fun adventure, nonetheless!  We all got a good laugh out of it.  Friday night there was an awesome meteor shower, and what better place to watch it than out in the woods at our cabin!?  It started around midnight, and there was a 2nd floor porch just big enough for all of us to lay flat on our backs watching for meteors.  It was pretty chilly outside, so we had pillows and blankets, and were thankful all the dogs were out there with us cuddled up keeping us warm.  It seriously might be one of my new favorite memories with my friends.  We had some quiet star-gazer music playing, and we just laid there for almost 2 hours chatting and staring into the sky.  And we saw a good amount of meteors!  One in particular was really bright and had a huge tail that streaked across the sky.  It was so much fun.

Sunday morning, the boys and Dana got up bright and early to head to the Ocoee for a rafting trip with Outdoor Adventure Rafting. We’ve been using this company for a few years now, and have been pleased.  Leah and I decided to sit this one out this time, so we stayed at the cabin to pack up and clean up before leaving the cabin.  We loaded up the truck and met up with the other guys once they were back from their rafting trip.  They had so much fun! They even rescued a guy who had gotten caught in the hydraulics of one of the rapids!  From the way they described it, it sounded like a scary situation!!  After rafting we had a quick little picnic on the OAR campgrounds and let the dogs get one more quick swim in before heading back to Birmingham.  And go figure on this little trip Lily decided to join in on the swim!  I don’t know if Lola not being there this time (Dana and Chesley had already left) made the difference, or if because it was really shallow and she could walk out into the water instead of jumping into the water did the trick.  But she was swimming like a champ and fetching the sticks!!!  Bless her heart, she was the only non-labrador on the trip.  I was so proud of her at this point 🙂

 

Keeping Rosco

For the past several days we kept my sister and her husband’s dog, Rosco, while they went on their 1-year anniversary trip to the beach.  Rosco is a 4 month old vizsla puppy, and he kept our 3 dogs on their toes all week long!  Even our youngest pup Lily was getting pretty worn out by Rosco’s constant desire to play and wrestle.  It was good though. He really did well mixing in with our pack 🙂  We took them to the park, went on a nice 2-mile(ish) jog (Greg actually ran 6 miles, taking Jack for 3 and Lily for 3), and even went for a swim yesterday afternoon.  And of course I took tons of pics.  Partially because I knew Katie and Chuck enjoyed getting updates on their little man, but also because it’s just fun having a new dog in the house.

 

another happy weekend

Last weekend we celebrated another wedding.  My dear friend Abby and her fiance Trevor tied the knot.  Abby is one of my friends from high school and we went to Samford together where we were roommates for 3 years. We also studied nursing together!  It was a lovely wedding out at Hargis retreat center.  The ceremony took place in the chapel overlooking the lake.  It was another beautiful Saturday.  And we had some of our long distance girlfriends come into town!!

 

After the wedding, all of us girls (and our wonderful significant others) went to dinner at Superior Grill.  I love these girls!  We became friends in college and have been together ever since!  Some of them have moved away, but we manage to get together when we can…especially now that some of us are getting married one by one 🙂

Sunday was another pretty day.  We decided to take a trip to my Granddaddy’s lake and we took some friends with us.  My Granddaddy built a lake in the Alabaster area many many years ago.  My family has property on the lake and Greg (and his buddies) have recently figured out that we can go down there whenever we want to fish, hang out, relax and all that good stuff 😉  There aren’t houses built on the lake so it’s very quiet and peaceful.  I can remember many trips out there as a kid, fishing with my Granddaddy, riding in his boat and having picnics with Nana and my cousins.  The property hasn’t really changed one bit since those days, and it’s kinda nice that way.

my boys out on the water in my Granddaddy’s boat
of course we had a dog pack with us….
 this is Amos. He’s one of Steven and Mallorie’s pups, and he’s quite photogenic!
We took Jack out on a quick little fishing attempt.  I say attempt because we didn’t catch anything. Although, Greg and I are very impatient fishermen, uh, fisher-people?  After about 15 mins we wanted to head back to the dock with our friends.  Jack however decided it would be more fun to swim back…

We had fun and the pups were worn out by the time we got home, which is always good.  And we enjoyed hanging out with our friends for the afternoon.  Steven and Mallorie are about to move to Tennessee, so it’s nice spending time with them while they are still somewhat nearby.

This is Roux…Steve and Mal’s beagle mix

afternoon hike

Last Sunday the weather was nice, and we decided to take a trip to Oak Mountain with the dogs for a little swim.  I love that we are already getting spring weather, cause I love spending time outside.  I have gotten so stir crazy in our house lately.  I don’t particularly like watching tv, and although there are random projects around the house I’ll do every now and then, it still means hanging out in the house.  Last Thursday I spent literally 6 straight hours cleaning and tidying up the house and putting together some of the picture frames I mentioned in the last post.  But, I opened every window in the main den, lit some yummy springy candles and played records all day long while I cleaned. And THAT made a day spent indoors cleaning so much better 🙂

But ANYWAYS, back to our topic of warm weather and playing outside.  So we took the dogs to Oak Mountain last Sunday.  Jack of course is the only one who will go swimming, so while he fetches the ball out in the lake, Lily and Sophie just run along the shoreline and explore the area.  But for some reason Jack lost interest in chasing the ball, and since Lily and Sophie kept wanting to wander off into the woods, Greg and I decided to just take all the dogs for a little hike.  That actually turned out to be much more fun!  There was a small mountain-side trail that wrapped around the lake that we followed for about 50 yards and then it led to a small opening tucked into the woods.  Once we got there the dogs had more freedom to sniff around and run a little bit.  I took these pics with my phone, and as you’ll see, Sophie is only in 1 picture. It’s because she just spends all her time wandering around and sniffing. That’s our hound dog for ya!  It was great and we’ll definitely be taking more hikes with the dogs as the weather continues to warm up 🙂

doggie playdate

 

Last weekend we had some friends come stay with us.  It was our first set of guests in our guest room, which I was excited about! (Luckily, I had cleaned the room out quite a bit a few weeks ago).  It’s not done yet, but at least the bed and floor aren’t covered in stuff.  Anyways, Saturday we decided to take all the dogs to Oak Mountain State Park for a play date.  Between us and our friends, we had 5 dogs with us.

Lily and Jack belong to us (we left Sophie at home)
  
Rebel (is one of Jack’s nephews) and belongs to Creed (who came to stay with us)
Josie (Jack’s nephew, Rebel’s sister) belongs to John and Leah
 
And Copper is one of Taylor and Jeslyn’s handsome pointers
 
The dogs had a blast, and we had fun too!  Lily isn’t too much a fan of the water. She mainly stays on the shoreline and barks at the other dogs as they chase the ball out into the water. But the other dogs were hilarious!  Since the water was so shallow in some areas, they couldn’t really swim out to the ball. So instead they jumped like gazelles through the water.
 
It was a good day for all!  And a great weekend with friends 🙂
   
family of labs
 
 
 
 
 Creed and John
 
 
 me and Mary Grace
 

a perfect springy weekend

Last weekend our good friend Elissa came down from Nashville to visit us for a few days.  I consider Elissa my oldest college friend, because we became friends during the 1st semester of our freshman year, and have stayed friends since then.  Most of the girlfriends I have now stem from friendships built in college, but Elissa’s friendship is one of the few that goes back as far as freshman year.  Here’s a look back…

I can’t believe that was 7 years ago!!!  Anyways. So Elissa came into town and all us girls enjoyed a wonderful weekend together. Friday night we went to our traditional dinner at Nabeel’s, then had a few drinks at Cocina Superior, then headed home and played some Wii dance (always a good time).  Then Saturday morning we go up, ate my yummy hashbrown casserole 😉 and then headed to Edgewood Creamery for ice cream. The weather was BEAUTIFUL outside, so we sat outside and talked for a while catching up on each other’s lives. Then after that we decided to go to the Railroad Park downtown.  It was obviously a popular spot for lots of people (and dogs!) that day. We spread our blankets out, layed in the sun, talked some more, listened to music and even played a little bocce ball.
 

 Even the pups had a great time!  I think Sophie is enjoying her new home/family 🙂  Look at this face. Does that not just say “ahhh…this is the life!”

 Saturday night we went out again to a swanky little bar in Mountain Brook, and the boys came along for a little visiting time.  Then Sunday we went and had brunch at Another Broken Egg.  One word. DELICIOUS!  This place was adorable. It felt like we were sitting inside of a true southern plantation home eating breakfast that grandma just cooked. I’m seriously considering having a bridesmaids brunch here now.  I can’t believe I had never been here before.  Yum.
 
So that pretty much sums up our weekend.  It was quite lovely. Nothing beats girlfriends in the south 🙂