What a week.

What a crazy couple of weeks it’s been! I got word from my publisher that the manuscript for my new novel “The Dark Side of the Woods” has been accepted! YAY! I am so excited to see that story come to life. Of course, with the excitement comes a bit of anxiety as well. This book falls into the young/ new adult genre and I’m curious how it will be received.

Just following that news was a trip to Charleston, SC with some of my best friends. When I say best friends I mean lifetime, could blackmail me for eternity kind of friends. We drank rum on the beach and laughed until we cried, we shopped and dressed up for a fancy dinner at Husk, one of Charleston’s top restaurants. It was perfect and we are already making plans to go back.

I’m not usually a beach person. It had been ten years since the last time I went. I don’t get a lot of inspiration from the ocean but it quiets my mind. Sometimes that’s needed too.

And then yesterday, I had to lay my sweet tortoise shell cat, Munchkin, to rest. I’m not sure what happened to her but after she didn’t come home for dinner or breakfast, I knew. A walk in the woods confirmed my fears and I carried her home through the thorns and leaves to bury her in a corner of the backyard. I’m going to fix a sweet little garden for to rest in with a headstone, maybe plant some catnip and hang a birdhouse in the tree above her. Twelve years is a decent life for a cat but it’s never long enough.

Even though my heart is broken I have wonderful things to look forward to in the coming months and five rambunctious foster kittens who know that I need extra love right now as much as they do.

The three of us crazy ladies outside of Husk. I’m the one in the middle.

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My sweet Munchkin.

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Quick trip to Hot Springs

hot springs

The snow nearly did me in, I nearly gave up on ever getting out. Valentine’s Day weekend Josh had planned a short getaway to Hot Springs, NC, one of our favorite little places. Of course once we learned of the dreaded snow coming our way we decided it was best to reschedule. Thankfully the inn where we had reservations was very understanding and moved our spot to this past Sunday. We figured surely two weeks away was plenty of time to get past the icky weather.

So as the days passed we realized we were still very stuck up here on our mountain. The only option on a possible way out was to start digging. Keep in mind we still had well over a foot of snow covering at least half of our quarter mile long driveway. Not only that but our driveway is pretty steep in places so while shoveling downhill isn’t so bad you do have to walk your tired self back to the top.

The first day we decided to see what we could get done I was very optimistic. The second day I was still determined, until the car got stuck, then refused to crank. The third day, the day we were supposed to be leaving, I looked out at the driveway and all the snow that was left and I felt defeated. I agreed to try anyway even though my muscles ached from the days of work before. I couldn’t see how we could clear enough to get out and if we couldn’t get out we had put in all this work for nothing. Then as I shoveled I got angry and imagined throwing breakables at a wall. Of course I also told myself how ridiculous that would be since I would only have to clean it up later. A few seconds after that I was nearly in tears, a combination of exhaustion, frustration and PMS. I was done. Josh finished up the last bit of shoveling and we came in for a break. After a while he decided to see how far the car could make it and I went to take a shower. I wasn’t very hopeful at that point. I got out of the shower and had a text to pack my things, the car was off the hill.

We stayed at the Iron Horse Station in Hot Springs. It is an gorgeous old building with a restaurant on the first floor and an inn on the top. The whole building is charming and has been beautifully maintained. The inn is very simple but so charming. The halls are lined with antique furniture and quilts decorate the exposed brick walls. The room was small and basic (no phone or tv) but the sheets and bedding were excellent quality and were very lovely. The restaurant served some of the best food I’ve had in ages and everyone in the town is so friendly. After dinner we walked across the railroad tracks to the Hot Springs resort for a nighttime soak. The tubs are covered but are outdoors, we followed the path of lanterns to a fire pit where we sat while our tub was filled. The smell of the wood smoke, the hot water, the cool air on the walk back, it was all perfect! And so very needed after what we went through to get there.

The next morning we stopped in a couple of the small shops in town. Hot springs is a very small town and most businesses are in walking distance. The hardware store has just about anything you could want, and next door is a small store that carries outdoor clothing, natural groceries and books by local authors. It’s my dream town. I would move there in a second!

After we left we drove into Marshall, NC which is only about twenty minutes down the road. Marshall is another adorable little town with cute shops. Last time we were there we stumbled upon a coffee shop called Zuma that we really enjoyed, so we had a late breakfast there again we weren’t disappointed.

North Carolina has such a great energy, the people seem happier and appear to invest more in themselves and their community. I hope to spend more time there as often as possible.  We had a wonderful trip it was worth the effort of getting off the driveway and even the walk back up the driveway when we got home.