Monday, September 24, 2012

Venture Off The Trail

Cummins Falls
Normally routines are good to keep us on track, but sometimes you have more fun if you deviate from them. We camped at Defeated Creek last week, and enjoyed a wonderful, relaxing stay. We spent most of our time stargazing, sitting by the fire, fishing from the bank, reading in the shade, talking to other campers, walking and biking around the campground--our regular camping routine.

One morning we started out for Cookeville to eat lunch and to pick up our favorite Ralph's Donuts. At the end of the campground road, we saw a yard sale sign pointing away from our regular route. We looked at each other and said, “Let's go that way!” We knew Highway 85 came out in Gainesboro, but we'd never taken that road. Off we went. We never found the yard sale, but it was a beautiful drive through river farmland, hills and hollers.

As we drove from Gainesboro toward Cookeville, we saw a sign for Cummins Falls, Tennessee's newest state park. We smiled, the blinker went on, and down that road we went to check out the new park. Thankfully we had bug spray in the truck for our half mile hike through the woods trail to the overlook. The falls are 75 feet tall, and at the bottom is a large deep pool. We did not hike the long path to the bottom to swim, but we did trek down a tiny steep path to walk out on rocks at the top of the falls. If you go, make sure you have good shoes. The park is not completely developed yet so there are no buildings and the trails are marked with plastic tape. We walked back to the parking lot on the gravel access road, which is where the porta potties are hidden. We took some great photos and spent two hours having fun outdoors.

We did finally get to Cookeville, bought our scrumptious donuts and had a bite of lunch. We got back to camp later than we planned, but so what? We had a fabulous day exploring new places.

Useful Notion: You can't find adventure sitting on the couch or staying in your regular routine—you have to venture off the trail now and then.

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Where I Am

I overheard someone the other day wishing she could go back to her early twenties and start her life over. That got me to thinking...if it was possible, would I go back? And to what age?

I certainly wouldn't do over my teen years, since I have many fond memories of high school, dating, spin the bottle in my basement, my first job, and fun with friends. Although I would like to send myself a message to keep my red '69 Camaro instead of trading it in.

There are a few decisions other times in my life that I might change, but everyone has those wishes. Eventually everything turned out ok, so I must have learned from those mistakes. Who's to say what else would have changed if I had done something differently?

I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't go back and start over if given the chance. I like where I've been and I'm pretty happy where I've landed. This reflection on whether to do life over gave me inspiration to enjoy what I have, where I am, right now.

Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past, what to enjoy in the present, and what to plan for in the future. ~ Arnold H. Glasgow

Monday, September 10, 2012

Five Life Rules

I'm outside enjoying the sunshine on this beautiful Monday in September.  
Have a great week!

Monday, September 3, 2012


How do you like my newest quilt design? It's called Sidetracked, and there's a story behind the name. I finished piecing the front yesterday, after a day of cutting and sewing leftovers from my scrap basket. It was a spur of the moment design inspired by moving furniture in my sewing room. But I'll start at the beginning.

Last Tuesday I had planned to sew a vest for my mama. Amazingly, I didn't have the right color fabric. That's right, with hundreds of yards of material in my stash, I didn't have anything to match her camo print cargo pants. Yeah, I realize she's 79 years old, but those of you who know Sam understand the feisty redhead who is my mama. 
Anyway, after putting away the fabrics I had pulled out, I couldn't get interested in sewing anything else. As I was sitting there, a new layout for my furniture just popped into my head. I love to rearrange furniture, so I had to do it right then. I put the sewing table and desk back to back by the windows, and moved the cutting table on the other wall. This may work better when I sew quilts, so they won't fall over the edge of the table as I sew.

During the upheaval, I found a scrap bin that had been tucked under the sewing table, behind my thread cabinet. Aha! Inspiration can come when you least expect it. After I had put the finishing touches on my room, I sorted through the fabric pieces and started laying out a design.

I have to admit that I've been a little sidetracked lately. But I did order some fabric to match the cargo pants, got a fresh new sewing room, and pieced a quilt from forgotten scraps. So it must be a good thing to divert onto another path every now and then.  

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. --Ralph Waldo Emerson


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