Friday, May 25, 2018

Jason and Mama–Sadie & Ponies!

Yesterday was a mother/son day – and Sadie came along for the ride.

It’s not often that I get to spend a solo day with my son Jason, and since the weather was nice and cool (only about 63 degrees on top of the mountain as compared to 90 down in Columbia SC where he lives)  - we wandered on up the road a few scenic miles to Grayson Highlands State Park to hike a bit on the Appalachian Trail.

I would have to say we felt like slackers with our street clothes, no gear and simple water bottles for our day hike.

We met a man coming down the trail past us and stopped to chat.  He has been on the trail since April, starting in Georgia, with many many miles left to go to do the whole thing.

After hiking we stopped for lunch at Grayson Highlands General Store (more on that later) and met a gal who was restocking her backpack with necessities at the store.  As of yesterday they had reached their 500 mile mark, also working their way toward Maine.


Any long range views are in the clouds!

The mountain tops were all hidden by cloud cover thanks to the cool air coming in.  But there were other things to see besides far off vistas – and the low cloud cover has a beauty all its own.  You can sit and watch it roll on out just a bit, and with a swirl, it comes back in.


I love the delicate wildflowers on our way up the trail.

I was hoping beyond hope that we would run into the wild ponies I had seen the last time I was up here in April. Click HERE for that post.

Would we see how the baby foal I witnessed on wobbly legs was growing?

It was a nice enough day for a hike that several folks were out there.  As we passed each other going up or down the trail we’d ask – “How are things ahead?”  “Did you find the ponies?”

Sadie was intrigued with all the smells and I am so grateful that she is not a “Must Roll In It!!!” kind of dog.  She is friendly to other dogs who are also friendly to her, and thinks the entire dog world are there just to be her friends.


No, this not a pony!

And those horns are long!

But not as long as these:


Oh, crimany!

Definitely not a pony!


Just ahead on the trail..at the top of that rise…what’s that I see?


And who sees me and comes right on over!!

I was trying to take a pic from across the way, and I guess I needed to be sniffed as well.

There are signs everywhere – Keep the Wild in Wildlife – Don’t Pet the Ponies.  Don’t Feed the Ponies.

I understand the don’t feed part – but what are you supposed to do when a pony comes right on over and nuzzles you?  I admit it.  A few ear scratches happened.


And the baby is growing bigger!

Hello, sweet one!

Sadie however, is not so sure.  Check this out:


Oh Mama, that baby has to be coming any day now!

Click to play:


This was the commune with nature that I needed.

Oh, you are too cute!


So happy I got to share this with my son -


I need this framed!


And perhaps this one too.

Quit looking so tough son, and give your mama a smile!

While at Grayson Highlands General Store for lunch (and where we met the AT hikers) I had a good long chat with Dennis the owner who asked how things were going with “the Old Fields House.” 

"We are now the official owners of our own personal money pit!” I said with a laugh– and that was part of the reason we stopped there.  Having a business in this area means Dennis is a wealth of information as far as contractors, electricians, plumbers, road grating services, who to call for this or that, and he had told me before when we were ready for electrical he had just the guy for us.

Small town life – it’s so great!  He made a simple phone call and Chris (who lives maybe 2 miles just over the hill from the cabin) came to meet Jason and I at the store and we talked about the project – getting the sewing area enough power for 16 sewing machines and irons, installing overhead lighting sufficient for the Quilting Quarters.

He followed us a short but beautiful drive of 7 miles to the house, and we gave him the tour.  He’s got great ideas, and showed us some really interesting things as we followed him into the crawl space beneath the house.


1800’s foundation!

I was just amazed with this – this is what folks used for foundations before there was such a thing as cinderblock and concrete footings.  Oh my word…this is amazing.

From what we can gather, this is all river rock gathered from near by.  In my mind I’m thinking of the hands who laid these foundation stones, and thanking them for building a foundation that would stand the test of time.  Little did they know what this house would be up to 135 years later.


Another shot.

So very cool.

The good news is – there are breaker boxes a-plenty.  It won’t be a hard job to do to get the amps we need for the Quilting Quarters.  The ceiling fixtures will be simple – flush 6’’ LED spots, nice true color lighting to eliminate any cast of yellow. 

And of course quilters will have IKEA lights at every station.

My next job is also to head down to IKEA and get my first load of tables so we know where they are going to go and can mark them off on the floor with painters tape so we can place outlets where they are most easily accessible.

Once the Quilting Quarters is done – we move on to fixing the bathrooms with walk-in showers.  That can be a winter job.

What most folks don’t know is that “regular” bathtubs (likely from the 1950s!) were removed when the previous owners wanted to install the claw foot tubs to make it look “more authentic” – the tubs are not original to the house. They are reproductions. 

We are just taking it back a step, but with walk-in showers so that no one falls and breaks their neck while trying to step OUT of a claw foot tub shower.  

We have our reasons. 99% of our guests will be middle aged to older women who may have balance issues.  We've got to prevent slipping and falling possibilities. Stepping down with wet feet?  It is best to remove the tubs.  Our changes will not affect the historic value of the home.  It will protect the safety and well being of our guests.  If it were me, I never would have put those tubs in the bathrooms in the first place. 

In a private home? Yes.  In a place being fitted for this purpose?  No.

Today!  The fridge we took out of the kitchen at the cabin when the new one was brought in will be making a trip over to the Inn.  It’s going into the back entry as an extra fridge for guest use.  I’m now so glad that we held on to that extra fridge!

I think that the original owners of the house would LOVE the modern conveniences we enjoy now and would never look back.

Jason heads home this afternoon – and maybe I’ll get some sewing time in.  Maybe.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

If not for my mistakes, I would not have learned a thing! Allowing yourself the privilege to make big, bold mistakes is one of the best ways of really finding yourself!

Imported quilt found in Georgia. I still liked the block design.

Have a lovely Friday, friends!


  1. The video of Jason and Sadie reminds you of a toddler hiding behind an adult till she can check out the situation

  2. Yay! Those claw foot tubs are a menace. There was one in my old home when I moved in. After I fell out of it twice I convinced my husband to replace it with a walk in shower. Best change we made!

    1. Thank you thank you thank you for posting this. We also had a claw foot tub in an older home before - and as nice as it is to lounge in for a deep bubble bath, it's just not practical to get in or out of. There is a reason tubs and walk in showers have evolved over the decades! Thanks for being a voice of reason!

    2. TOTALLY AGREE ON ALL POINTS about the tubs... sigh... time does march on and we either march or get left behind... smiles and hugs

    3. Cgg1955@yahoo.com
      Have you seen the claw foot tubs that have been cut out on one side and turned into settees? Add a quilted scrappy padded seat pad and you could turn them all into a awesome seating area outside where former owner had a sitting area....repurposed antique sitting are...little cost and lots of character!!! Maybe a fire pit in the middle surrounded by tub seating???

  3. My Lucy dog is like Sadie. Barks ferociously at the door bell, but when I get close to the door she gets behind me! A watch dog true, but not a protection dog.

  4. Beautiful country! Quiltville Inn is going to be a lovely sanctuary and getaway haven. I hope to be able to visit.

  5. Thank you for sharing your nature day with you and your son. It looks fantastic. Glad there is good news for your electrical progress. This adventure will be fantastic!

  6. Oh, I love the ponies! My nephew hiked the AT between HS and college. I wonder if he saw the ponies? Glad you had some one-on-one with your son. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Love claw-foot tubs...in the garden filled with flowers and edibles!! Or turned into a beautiful place to sit under a tree or on a porch. They really are dangerous (even though they look beautiful) for any age person trying to exit them. A general store in a small town is an excellent resource for anything you need!

    1. I agree. They are dangerous. We had one in a past home, and I would not have one again. Not to mention that they are a pain to clean behind, around and under.

  8. An old farmhouse we lived in when I was young had an old claw foot tub; loved the deep bath but don't recall any issues getting in or out (not to say there weren't), and I love the look of them, but I do agree for the purposes of the Q-Inn, safety is the #1 priority. At another property, a claw foot tub was used as a horse water trough - made cleaning easy when needed - just pull the plug, scoop out debris and swish with a broom or brush & refill.

  9. So wonderful to hear of your progress and see all the pictures. Amazing foundation! I loved the quote today and it made me smile. I just finished my granddaughter's quilt (wall-hanging) and discovered, by accident, that I'd left a pin in (a mistake) and had to remove binding to get at the pin and then re-sew. What's really laughable is that when I made her a pillow a couple of years ago, I did the same thing - left a pin in there (mistake). lol

  10. Oh, Bonnie, I know exactly how you feel when your sons visit. My DGS drove up today in front of the house and I didn't know he was home. You see he just graduated from Ranger School in the Army. I am not supposed to say more. But I looked at the driver and couldn't believe my eyes. He is fit, firm, and trim. What 22 y.o. stops to see his grandparents on his 4 day pass? I mean. I am saving my $$$ to be one of the first to the Quiltville Inn. Again I wish I was you. Happy Memorial Day!

  11. I had a fall in a motel that had the shower over a bath. No serious injuries just lots of bruising aches and pains. There us no way I would have a shower over a bath in any accommodation. It's not safe. If someone had a fall it would ruin their weekend or worse.

  12. Thanks, Bonnie, for taking handicapped issues into consideration. I've been in two pretty serious car accidents and have lots of hardware in my neck. My balance is definitely an issue so I, for one, appreciate your thoughtfulness! It is going to be fun to watch your dream come true and it is going to be wonderful!

  13. Whig’s Defeat - one of my favorite blocks! And on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing, Bonnie! Your Delaware/southeast PA fans are so excited about the Quiltville Inn! Enjoy all your preparations and take your time doing them - we are very patient. See you at Quilt Odyssey!

  14. My father was a Through Hiker. He walked 500 miles of the AT to celebrate his 50th summer. Really does my heart good to read about these mountains. He was born on the western side of the Appalachians, but we brought his ashes to the AT at Pilot Mountain. Every time we drive by I simply say “Hello Daddy.” We May move to NC someday. I love those mountain trails.

  15. Funny thing, the location of your new venture! Several years ago we vacationed in Virginia Beach and I happened to buy a bottle of water from Grayson Springs. I was so impressed with the taste that I looked up the company online and every time we pass the exit on I81 for Grayson/Mouth of Wilson I remember the connection. So I know exactly where you are going to be! Well within my driving range. I am so happy for you and hope someday to be able to visit Quiltville Inn.

  16. My daughter and her family live in Chilhowie. They love the ponies too.

  17. https://www.facebook.com/SeekerMedia/videos/427818964309811/UzpfSTEzMzU1Njc3MzMzMTAwMToxOTE3MTU4MjA0OTcwODQw/ This astronaut quilter needs you to teach her how to do EPP hexies for her hand work in space! I couldn't find an email to send this directly to you...sorry.

  18. If it were not for the clouds it wouldn't be The Smokie Mountains. We (family) loved camping in the Smokies on vacations. One son chose a University in NC near Charlotte because of his good memories there. Even during his 4yr.he found time to get to the trails. Both boys hiked part of the AT in Maine in late June, 3 climate chgs to the top but they had no prob.they were so disappointed they could not hike to the end due to the lg amt of snow the last few miles. It was one of their wishes for the vacay. They lived...No offense but you may want to buy your son a pair of pants that fit his long legs. 😉

  19. Great place, wonderful food with modern ambiance and comfortable seating with plenty of room. It is now probably one of the best Chicago venues in my list. Perfect food, great decor and vibrant atmosphere.

  20. Bonnie, your progress is amazing in what seems to me a short amount of time although a dream often starts waaaaay long ago and comes to fruition. My hubby is a 'go and do it' sort of guy and I am slow to take lessons but your progress is encouraging to a slow-poke. So encouraging too are the gifts you have been reporting on. Just returning your kindnesses.

  21. Hey Bonnie, did you remember to tag the van this month. You don't want another tag issue like last year. Lol Lol! Glad to see you got a chance to have one on one time with Jason since Jeff lives with you. Have a good weekend!

  22. What a beautiful place to hike about. It looks so serene. Some of what I could use right now. My Mom fell and broke her hip, so, no sewing time for me right now BUT I'm cutting, cutting,cutting when I have the chance! It will all work out in the end. Thank you so much for sharing I needed this to enjoy. The next best thing to being there.

  23. Oh Sadie you could have rode that pony on the trail. haha. It’s ok not to be sure of something bigger than you. Truly envy your day on the trail with your son, awesome relaxing day.
    Totally appreciate your concern about guest falling. Claw tub is pretty but not practical for aging women like me. Hope to be your guest once your up and running this beautiful Inn.
    Love this blog!💕

  24. Everything seems to be falling into place for Quiltville Inn and I’m so excited for you! Keep the updates coming because I love reading about the progress. And I can’t wait to experience it in person! Thanks Bonnie!

  25. I love reading your wonderful blogs, Bonnie! What beauty you showed us on the Appalachian Trail! And how wonderful that you and your son could have such a special and relaxing day together! I smile every time I read about adding to the Inn..... can’t wait to come and use it!! Do you have a “wait list “, my friend and I are so excited to come!

  26. Sadie has good reason to be skittish of the ponies. If the foal was to try playing with her, it would not be fun. It may be small, but I have been on the receiving end of those small hooves and it hurts.

    A side question, with the talk about safe bathrooms, is there handicap access to the Inn? In photos all I see is a high porch with lots of stairs.

    We have a stone foundation like that under part of our house.


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