Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Biltmore Dream

It has always been my dream to go to the Biltmore House here in Asheville. Ever since I was in elementary school and saw a brochure with a picture of a couple having a picnic on the grounds in front of the house I told myself that it would be me in that picture one day. Well, since we moved to Asheville in June I have been to the estate numerous times to attend a friend's wedding, work numerous weddings for my job, and even mountain biking. Every time I would go I would drive past the house to other parts of the estate but never walked inside.

My dream came true this past weekend. My parents came into town and we decided we would go to the house TWICE that day! We first went in the afternoon and paid the extra $10 to get the audio tour. It took three hours to walk through the house. It was amazing!! Just to look at the detail in the architecture and hear the stories about each room as we walked through was incredible. Not to mention they have the house decorated for Christmas so I was elated to go back that night for the candlelight service. All the candles and lights were lit, Christmas carols sung by choirs, harpists, and dancers adorned the rooms in the house. It was incredible!

One of these days I will be that couple who is having a romantic picnic on the lawn of the house. But until then, I will cherish my time there this past weekend.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Look! It's a bear! A what?! A bear! Where?! In our yard...

As most of you know, our house was broken into almost four months ago. The shortened version is that four guys broke into our car and house. One of the guys actually opened our bedroom door while we were sleeping at 4:30 in the morning. I screamed and Keith grabbed the gun. The guys ran out of the house and fled in a car that was waiting for them. They did steal a few things, but we were safe. (They were caught later on that morning). All the while this is going on our dog, Norah, was sleeping on the floor at the foot of our bed. She started growling after Keith got up out of bed. Not much of a guard dog, huh? Well, after that incident, she will bark (and it's a very distinct and different bark) when she hears even the slightest noise whether it's during the day or at night. (She's learning). 

Well, last night around 1:15 or so in the morning she started barking and going nuts. We heard other dogs outside that were barking and at first wrote it off as that was why she was barking. Eventually, after she had been barking for about 5 or so minutes I told Keith we should let her go throughout the house and find whatever it is she was barking about. He grabbed the gun and took the dog out of the bedroom. I got up and went to the bathroom to look out the window (which looks over our driveway). I noticed our flood light was shining bright and then I saw something walking on our driveway. After a closer look I realized it was a BLACK BEAR!!! Keith and I saw it at the same time and yelled at the other one to look out the window. There were three of them!! I immediately thought of two things: 1) I was thankful it wasn't an intruder who was breaking into our house again and 2) I was reminded of a college memory that involved the ETSU library, college roommate, two other friends, and yes...a black bear. 

Before going to bed I decided that we needed to call the police department. I wasn't sure what they could do, but I didn't want the bears to stay in our neighborhood til morning knowing there are small children who live here. I thought I was being a good citizen. After I called the police station (the non-emergency number...I'm not sure 911 would have appreciated it), the guy merely stated that children should all be in bed and that we should not go outside (does he think I'm that dumb?!). He then said that the bears won't be here in the morning. This must be a common thing around know, bears walking around town. I will say, I think I'd much rather run into a bear than a human intruder outside my house any me crazy. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's been a long time

I hadn't realized how long it had been since I last posted. I think mainly because I don't really think anyone reads our blog so I don't take the time to write a lot.

Well, not much has been going on the past few weeks. Just finishing up the semester at work. It's been crazy with snow here. School was closed Monday and Tuesday last week with Wednesday being a 2-hour delay. This week, school was closed Monday and Tuesday with another delay on Wednesday. Yesterday, I got the call at 6:40 AM that school was running on a 2-hour delay. Well, I was already half way to work by then so I just kept going and figured I'd stop and get some breakfast along the way. While I was in the front office answering phones (I work there for two hours every morning before I start teaching), school was called off about 8:30! This is bittersweet: because I'm considered part-time, I only have to work 4 hours on Teacher Work Days. So I got to leave at 11:00 yesterday morning. :-) The downside is we have to make up the days we're out. :-( Yesterday was very productive. I got some cleaning done at home and finished my Christmas shopping!! Now, time to wrap presents!

My parents are coming this weekend to take a trip to the Biltmore to see it all lit up at night for Christmas. I am so excited!! I've never been inside the house, but I've been all over the estate working and attending weddings. Christmas is my favorite time of year!