Monday, December 30, 2013

On top of the world

Noted uphill walkers Nancy Raskin and Miika Rollet during their recent hiking trip in Nepal. If you want to see more pictures and hear a few stories, they are doing a little presentation at the community center on January 16 at 7:30 PM.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Ginger the wrecking ball

Polly Lorien made this animated GIF of her daughter, Ginger, knocking stuff down.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Paige and Water Trough Ice Disks

This reminds me of the lines from Robert Frost's After Apple Picking:
...Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Deer Apples

Compound signage on Highway 19E.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Rag Ice

If you are impressed with my chunk of rag ice and want to make your own, here's how it's done. First you put a bunch of rags in a bucket of water and add some bleach (for the bright-white aesthetic). Then leave the bucket outside on a very cold night (or maybe two). Then, when you realize you need the bucket for some other purpose, bring it in the house and run warm water on the outside of it for a few minutes. Then take it outside, turn it over, and, voilá: rag ice.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Paris Is... (a brief report)

I finally got around to making this slide show about our trip to Paris. Yes, it's my vacation pictures. But how often does someone offer to tell you about their big trip  and then do it in less than five minutes?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tammy's banana

Tammy's ornamental banana tree really liked the weather this summer (although it didn't much care for the frost that came 18 hours after this picture was taken).

Sunday, October 27, 2013

It's fall. I'm done.

This tree decided to drop all of its leaves today. It's done. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

How to get Nettle's attention

 Ben Wyrick, most recent addition to the AMS staff running team, made this gif of Nettle reacting to runners during the Foliage 5K at AMS last week.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It actually looked like this

Driving home from Penland on Friday evening.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stupid kickball GIFs

The Meds for Kids fundraising kickball tournament was so much fun there was dancing in the outfield. Many thanks to Schell McCall for organizing the event and for providing a kickass soundtrack. The event benefits the Center for Rural Health Innovation.

Here's Christine making a mighty run for home.

And here's a sample of Gib's slick pitching. You'd better come join us next year.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fire breather

Nancy Raskin making everyone happy with her renowned ability to breath life into moribund campfires.

This gave Tim, a few hours later, the chance to impart marshmallow knowledge to the next generation.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Crazy sunrise double-rainbowish sky phenomenon

Buzz Coren sent this picture that Sophia took with her iPhone while waiting for the bus one morning last week. I don't know what this should be called, but it's kind of spectacular.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why did the turkeys cross the road?

I would guess they were tired of hanging out down by the river and wanted to spend some quality time in the woods.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Longhorns of Grindstaff Road

Seriously, these cattle live on Grindstaff Rd.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I recommend

A summer dinner al fresco at Knife and Fork.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I saw Barry walking on the road yesterday, and we chatted for a few minutes.  I drove off, but he ran to catch up to me when I stopped at our mailbox, as he had something else to tell me.  So our conversation continued and turned to life choices.  "You seem pleased with how life has turned out," I said as he stood under the apple tree at the bottom of Firefly Drive. "Hey! What more could I ask for?" he said, gesturing about.  Then I took this picture.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Down by the river

Thanks, again, to Gaelen, Nicole, and friends for hosting another super-fun (despite rain and mud) farm party at Green Toe Ground, including music, dancing, fun in the river, the Farm Olympics (which I got there too late for), and fireworks (which I didn't stay late enough for).

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Why Penland called off the parade

So, Penland was supposed to have the annual parade, ice cream, and fireworks extravaganza on Wednesday night (a day early because we have a scholarship auction on July 4). We had to call it off, because it was like this all day, and it didn't stop.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Festatoa late night

A wider shot from late at night -- Horses of Butter plus Pete and Kim McWhirter.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


More photos to come from yesterday's wonderful Festatoa (thanks, Jody and Jennifer!), but for now here's one that Drew Perrin took during night-time rock and roll and dancing. The word is a title from a Charlie Chaplin movie that was being projected above the stage. There is something decidedly dreamlike about this event.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Steve in a suit

Making a rare appearance in a suit, a justifiably proud Steve Hill walks his daughter Alison to her wedding last Saturday. If you haven't been following Alison's career closely, she's the campaign manager for this project.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Mike 'n' Maddy

Mike Holland and his pal Maddy share a moment at Jack Hayes's Lower Brown's Creek Memorial Day Weekend festival of sausage and American traditions.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

J'aime Paris

Tammy and I had a great trip to Paris. I'll post an album of pictures somewhere in a little while. This cat (M. Chat) is a well-known graffiti character who has appeared all over Paris and other parts of France.

Monday, May 13, 2013

James Mag

James Magnus Allen, possible future heir to the Knife and Fork empire. At very least, we know this kid is going to eat well.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

So yellow

It is almost impossible to exaggerate the yellowness of the yellow ladyslippers this year.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Goofing at Cork and Crown

Jeff Polgar sent over this picture of Lily and Naomi goofing at the Cork and Crown Pub in Mars Hill.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

K&F: It's happening

Emma Nash, Nate Allen, Charlie Nash, and Steve North working on the new outdoor seating area at Knife and Fork. For those who just tuned in, Nate and Wendy have bought the building next to K&F (the one with the white porch railing). They have various plans for the building (starting with a walk-in cooler for the restaurant), but the first step is to convert this part of the lot into a seating area with some kind of outdoor kitchen. If you want to help out, Emma is organizing another community workday on Saturday, May 18, from 10 - 2.

And while we're on the subject, a big mazel tov to Nate and Wendy on the arrival of little guy James Magnus Allen.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bocce winner!

Ron Frazier (bocce tournament organizer) sent this local sports report:
 Kimberley MacDonald of Boone won this year’s Bocce Tournament in a grueling, come-from-behind match with David Wilson. Samarie Forde-Wilson shown presenting the winner the trophy on behalf of the tournament organizers.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jewish graffiti (maybe)

CSX, Spruce Pine (had ramps and nettles for brunch at K&F!)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

High-class graffiti

Men's bathroom, Asheville Art Museum

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ginger emerging

Miles and Polly's baby Ginger Mae Lorien. Born March 22.
7 lbs., 10 oz. Everyone is doing well.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gravity-powered xylophone


Jeff Goodman got a bunch of friends and neighbors together to build a gravity-powered xylophone. You roll a steel ball down the trough, and as it rolls it strikes a series of tuned steel tubes and plays a little tune. It was an excellent and fun day. The instrument still needs a little fussing, but it mostly works. Thanks, Jeff! Nobody else was going to do this.  And thanks to everyone who helped. In this picture folks are attaching the xylophone tubes to wooden supports. They sit on rings of inner tube so they can vibrate.

 Here are Matt and Jeff using a water level to calculate the slope of the hill.

Looking up the trough.

Adding pipes. The clipboard has the tune on it.

Adding a section of ramp.

Looking down the trough.

Here's the whole thing. Eventually, we'll move it to Jeff and Margot's holding.