Ye Olde
Talbott Blog

Mountain Retreat

Hi! It’s Katie here. I have purposed many times to type up a blog post for, and as you can tell, haven’t in a few years. Well, now that we are on a nice long “holiday” (as our English friends say) I think I have the time.

We rented a house in Franklin, NC for a month. As I type this we are just beginning our 4th and last weeks stay. Nathaniel has been working 4 day weeks from here and took one week completely off.

It’s been great living in a climate and surroundings similar to the one I grew up in in Oregon. There’s been little to no humidity. The mosquitos only come out in the evening and only eat on you if are tasty (like Nathaniel). There are hills and trees all around, and cows, donkeys, and chickens within ear shot. The temperature has averaged in the mid 80’s. And there’s clean mountain rivers to swim in.

I think the kid’s highlight has been the water element. There is a small stream within walking distance which we visit often. We’ve visited a river and a lake (Thorpe Reservoir) which we did get to swim in. We also just today filled up a 8 ft. by 18 in. pool that was on clearance at Walmart – I couldn’t pass it up – and the kids have been having a blast in it. Up to this point our poor kids didn’t have much experience with water beyond the bathroom tub and rain drops falling overhead.

We have been learning about bee and wasp stings this week. Reuben got stung 3 times because he was playing too close to a wasp’s nest, and William was stung today by the bee he was rescuing from the pool. Sometimes it’s hard seeing your kids learning life lessons…

The lesson I’ve been learning, is how to manage a house and kids (and serve a husband) without obsessing and stressing over it all. Being here has given me a new perspective. These past weeks on vacation I have had few responsibilities. I weekly clean the bathrooms and vacuum the house, and feed the family with meals that have been thought through and are mostly prepared. It’s been pretty low key. If I was back home, I would have wanted to rearrange the furniture weekly, decorated some part of the house, stressed over how messy the toys were, stressed over how I wasn’t able to do any deep cleaning (like wash window’s, or dust baseboards – or just dust for that matter!) as well as the normal house cleaning and unthought meal preparations. I think it concerns Nathaniel a bit that I want to keep a house like my grandmother does, but I have 4 kids that she doesn’t. :-)

The kids have been extremely cute these days. Elaine (14 months) is now walking like a pro, William (2yrs) is talking in two word “sentences” instead of one. A conversation with him recently went like this, “William, what are you doing?” his response “si si here.” (translation – “Sit, sit here.” or “I’m sitting here in the pool on this inner tube.”) Reuben (5) has been sounding out words and excitedly telling me what letter they sound with, as well as telling me what time it is. Anne Marie (3 yrs) is loving pink, hair and clothes. It’s a good thing she is a girl because she looks like one (with beautiful natural curly hair), talks like one (“I want a pink motorcycle when I get big.”) and acts like one.

I’ve been expanding my knowledge of graphics and started using GIMP (a shareware Photoshop like program) for digital scrapbooking. I have been wanting to do digital scrapbooking for over a year now, but they don’t have many program options for Macs. It’s been a slow process, but fun and addicting. I’ve been learning a lot and wishing I was single with no responsibilities so I’d have more spare time to devote to it – wait a minute… if that was the case then I wouldn’t have any cute subjects to scrapbook about! And I have been taking too many pictures on this vacation!

Some other fun things that we’ve done is gem mining. It’s a win win situation with those who have small kids. Dirt – Water – Pretty rocks – It doesn’t get much better than that. For the “small fee” of $30 we were given a bucket of dirt, sat down by a elevated stream of water and given screens to wash the dirt in. Did I mention that the kids loved it? The buckets are “salted” with semi precious gems so we got some nice rocks. Our fish back home should appreciate the new additions to his fish bowl. (And if you all know our obsession with rubies, you will laugh to know that we did get some rubies in our haul.)

There are some beautiful water falls in the area and some great white water rafting that we will have to come back for someday. I don’t think our kids could handle the hikes to the falls, and there’s a 40lb weight limit to the rafting (which none of our kids would meet). Vacationing with little ones has it’s limitations… but then, we have enjoyed just chillin’ on this trip.

Well, that’s all for now. If you haven’t taken a “holiday” in a while I highly recommend it!

~ Katie