Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vacation part 2

As I mentioned in my last post, It was cloudy, rainy and cool for most of our trip. The first full day on the lake, we were all hesitant to get wet. Instead, we decided to go exploring. The last time we were on the lake, we saw a man-made tunnel high on the cliff-side that we’d never seen before.


We were probably only seeing it now because of the lower lake level. Let me take a minute and provide some damn history….

Lake Cumberland was the result of the Works Progress Administration. The Wolfe River was dammed in 1952 to create the lake. Under the lake resides the remains of communities that were uprooted and relocated to higher ground. Think the end of "O brother where art thou”. Recently, the Army Corps of Engineers noticed a damn leak. To stave off a damn failure, they lowered the level of the lake. This reduced the damn pressure exponentially—allowing the reinforcement work to take place while providing boaters summertime fun. So why all this damn background? Because the low water level led to some cloudy daytime adventures.

The tunnel we had spotted on a previous trip was once a road that connected to a bridge over the river. We anchored the boat on the side of the hill with the soft sloping bank, near where the old roadway broke the surface of the water. The previously submerged road led us up the hill, over dritfwood and through foliage that had waited 50 years to flourish.


Once upon the tunnel, the boulders stacked up in front of the entrance as if a landslide was the reason it was no longer used. It was as if the tunnel was a secret waiting a generation to be discovered.


Inside, the roadway was covered in a thick dirt and driftwood. It was eerie to explore the space that was probably a fish haven just a few years ago.


As much as it may have felt like OUR discovery, the interior walls of the tunnel told a different story with fresh names etched into the cement.


Up the sloping bank and through the tunnel was once the start of the bridge. Now, instead, the slow incline of the cement road culminated to a 50 foot drop. It was an adventure that kept us busy climbing around, scaring dad and taking pictures.



I know what you’re thinking – seriously, a whole post about a DAMN tunnel. Don’t worry sports fans, boating, skiing and FIRE to follow by Friday.

PS hope your English is good enough to catch the damn references. MIne wasn't. Husband mentioned how witty it was. Yes, sure, witty. I know how to spell DAM.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Lost Lodge Part 1

In my last grasp at summer, I talked padre into an end-of-season boatiing trip. Of course the weather leading up to our trip led me to believe we’d have nothing but sunshine days and cool nights. It was the day before we left when padre checked the weather. I think I’m quoting the weather channel’s caption for the week ahead: “soggy in the south.” Looking forward to a vacation either way, we loaded up the car and headed down to the lake.

When looking for somewhere to rest our head, Dad looked up a place he had stayed years before—the lost lodge. He and Momma T had stayed there with young kids when stretching a buck was the only way to afford a vacation. Stretching a buck is again all the rage, especially in our family.

Growing up mom and dad had told us stories about this place—the place with the never ending stairs, so many stairs that the establishment put in what they call a hillevator. They advertise this unique feature on their website. I couldn’t wait to explore this contraption.

Let me just interrupt my story right here to mention MY DELETE BUTTON ISN”T WORKING. So every time I have a change in direction or a new thought or even a SPELLING ERROR, I can’t fix it. I have to highlight the offending sentence, word or error and hit the space bar. Just one more reason typing this post has taken me several days.

Ok, sorry about that.

Dad and I were the first to arrive, with Biscuit and Monkers not far behind. This gave us an opportunity to unload the car and explore. My first priority was to check out the hillevator, and I will do my best to explain to you what I found.

At the end of the road, a path leads you towards the lake. The path forks, one way towards a steep cement staircase that descends into the forest, and another way towards a platform at the top of the hillevator. Standing there at that platform, there was almost too much to take in.
First was the extreme angle of the hill. Standing at the top and looking down into the forest with only a glimpse of the dock, the feeling was dizzying.


Second, the snaking of the cement staircase down the hill with only a rusted steel railing for grip. Each step classified by a high rise, but narrow tread, leaves one having to side-step all the way down. Additionally, because the lake is about 50 ft lower, there are MORE steps where the hillevator ends to get you down to the current water level. Let me just say that after a long day of skiing, when your legs are shaking and your back can barely hold up your own body weight and the stairs seem insurmountable. You take a deep breath and take them one at a time because you know they are the only thing between you and a hot shower!


Third, and most notable, the hillevator. The website failed to mention that this machine is as old as the lodge itself. There next to us was a steel basket that would hold four adults—MAX. The basket and the rails leading down through the dark forest was dark brownish-red. You know, the color of RUST. You know what my dad told me about RUST. It is cancer to metal. HMMMM, do I want to get into this terminal contraption? HELL YEAH I DO.


Dad and I got into the basket and per the homemade sign, pressed the green button to go down. He pressed the button and we waited. My thoughts were clouded with disaster scenarios as we waiting. We waited some more. Did he actually push the button?
Just as I looked at him to ask, the basket jerked to a start. We both jumped, gripped the sides for dear life and laughed nervously. As we rode down the hill at a grueling 1mph, I was repeatedly checking the structure of the rails—still contemplating worst case scenarios. Halfway down the hill, I notice that some of the rails are reinforced with wood and secured with………

wait for it……..

I am not kidding. The weight of 4 adults that could exceed 700lbs is being reinforced by ZIP TIES? I’m not sure if I was more scared or impressed by the durability of plastic.


Well, since we are all back home in one piece, the hillevator proved to be durable. We rode it up and down the hill all weekend. When contemplating the alternative of 327 steps, we were most grateful for it’s longevity, and the excitement it generated.

Look for more family follies to follow this week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Coming Soon

Stay tuned for the plethora of posts next week to cover Cumberland Cabins, Boating Briefs, Errant Exploring, Birthday Baking and always alliterative.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hurt Puppy Paws

As tempted as I am to just post this picture with a one-line comment, I heard from monkers that she gets pretty mad when I cop out that way.

After Sammy played so hard she ripped her pads, we were trying to keep her from re-opening the wounds. You'd wake up in the middle of the night to hear her lick, lick, licking.

Those socks coupled with the hardwood floor left her scrambling. So picture this: Sammy unwilling to get up because she can’t keep her footing. Husband and I calling her with treats so we could watch her slide all over. Finally, she would stumble towards us only to stop and try to bite off the offending socks.

After being thoroughly entertained, we took the socks off and let her take care of herself. We just check them every once and awhile to ensure they were clean. Her paws are all better—at least until her next opportunity to run wild.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I know what you’re thinking… but no, this post isn’t about NYC, terrorist attacks or the thousands of lives lost in 2001. Instead, 9/11 is a celebration in our house—Husband’s birthday.

This year, living on a shoestring budget, I’m unable to lavish gifts to show my affection. So, I’ll devote this post to him. He always says my blog posts are making fun of him. To this, my answer: That is because you are funny!

To the man I have spent the better half of a decade with – I’m so lucky to have you in my life. You always make me laugh, usually in spite of my attempts to keep a straight face. Remember the time you put a rubber band around the sink sprayer, so when I turned on the sink it sprayed all over me. I was so mad, impressed and laughing all at the same time.

You keep me on my toes, calling bullshit when I claim to know something, which is quite often. You make me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world—quite a feat if you know the state of my self-esteem. You have the most generous heart and spirit. There isn’t anyone you wouldn’t want to befriend or help.

All of these things make me feel like I’ve found something special, something I need to keep close to my heart and protect or else someone might steal you away.

My dad once told me that we were rich in love. Being a teenager, I rolled my eyes and wondered if he really bought into that crap. Now I understand. Happy Birthday, baby.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A shoestring way of life

Recently, due job changes and exciting new ventures, Husband and I have found ourselves living as a one income family. I’m sure, in this economy, we aren’t the only ones experiencing the downsizing.

Our income has been cut in half, resulting in some interesting attempts to save money:
Entering more contests, which already paid off thanks to Lodge Cast Iron.
Driving to Sonic and sitting in a drive-through line for a half an hour for ONE free root beer float
Buying the animals store-brand food. We even bought Sammy a 50LB pound of discontinued dog food for $12!
Dollar theater movies
Dinners of Mac and Cheese and frozen pizzas – Healthy is expensive.
Using any and all credit card rewards for necessities
Packing lunches
And the most pathetic new trend, mooching off my younger, less-than-wealthy-but-oh-so -generous sister

You all better be excited for some homemade Christmas presents.

Here’s hoping my haircut will last a few extra months. I’ve considered selling my iPod for a new pair of JEANS!

Friday, September 4, 2009


Ok so I know there are only a few of you that read this blog. I know this because I actually have tracking implemented for my blog. I know that my Mom and Dad don’t read it regularly, My husband almost NEVER reads it and most traffic from Linda’s blog (holla)! So instead of rambling on about the kids or something pertinent to my life, I thought I’d direct you to a couple links that defy explanation.

Ugliest Tattoos
Just peruse this site for a minute and I bet you’ll find something disturbing, sad, or just inexplicable. I mean, there is a guy who got implants for his busty lady TATTOO. Seriously, you have to check this site out.

Cake Wrecks
They can make cakes into anything anymore. That doesn’t mean they should!

i can has cheezburger?
Funny pictures of cats with captions. Always cute. Always funny.