Monday, October 23, 2006

The Beauty of Autumn

While we have not yet had the opportunity to go hiking in the mountains this fall, we did take advantage of the absolutely gorgeous day we had this past Saturday to spend some time outside. We did some much needed yard work and enjoyed the beauty of the autumn colors against the blue sky. I couldn't resist taking a few photos. I have included a couple of my favorites here.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Canoe Trip

Well, I'm finally getting around to blogging about our canoe trip last weekend. The day started off rather chilly, but turned out to be beautiful! We did have one minor mishap when Chris and I (newbies at canoeing) had some difficulty maneuvering through a small channel through some large fallen trees. The TVA was generating at the time (meaning water was being released at the Center Hill Dam just upstream from us), so the water was rising quickly and moving very fast. The front of our canoe struck one of the trees, and the rushing water whipped the back end around and turned us over before we had a chance to even think of what we should do next. The water was cold, but not freezing, and it had not yet risen to a depth that was over our heads. We managed to secure all of our belongings, and with the help of our friends, we were quickly back in our canoe and continuing on our way down the river. We were wet and cold for awhile, but we had a good laugh over it. All in all, the canoe trip was great fun!

The photo above is of Brian, a seasoned canoeist and fisherman. I found his red canoe to be very photogenic. I think you'll recognize the people in the other two photos. You'll note that one is not on the water. We stopped to check out a cave along the river.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


We've been invited by our friend Bob to go canoeing on the Caney Fork River. It's a beautiful river that winds its way through the Cumberland Plateau (see the Wiki). We're looking forward to it!

I don't have a canoeing photo (yet!), so this stock photo will have to suffice for now.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Latest Contraption

People who know us well know that we love food (good, healthy food, that is), and we own LOTS of kitchen gadgets and appliances. We just added a new one to our collection -- a food dehydrator. Dehydrating is one of the best ways to preserve food for long term storage because it retains most of the nutrients and does not introduce chemical preservatives.

Our primary purpose for getting a dehydrator is that we grow a variety of herbs, and we wanted to be able to dry what we couldn't use fresh during the season. For example, we have tons of basil this year. I have made quite a lot of pesto and frozen it, but now I am also able to dry some basil for use during the winter as well. Basil does not like cold weather, so I will need to harvest as much as I can and dry it before the first frost. We also have sage, oregano, parsley, marjoram, rosemary, garlic and cayenne peppers that we hope to dry before winter. We are also excited about the many other uses we will have for our new dehydrator. We will be able to make our own beef jerky from grass fed beef and dry organic fruit.