Summertime fun with family here in the Smokies!
by Rachelle Siegrist
We enjoyed a delightful visit from my sister Hayley and her family this past week on July 4th. They arrived in time for the kids to explore the trail through our woods, and to let their newly adopted baby goat, Ellie Mae, get out and do a bit of exploring herself as well as enjoy getting fed a bottle. She really loved climbing on the benches on the front porch and on the rocks in the surrounding the area, and I fell instantly in love with her!
With a small window of nice weather, on an other wise very rainy day, we decided to take advantage of it starting with a yummy supper at Pizza Hut, where Raelynn kept us well entertained and laughing, while grunting at her Mom each time she wanted more water from her straw and smiling and waving to everyone the remainder of the time! Afterwards, we headed down to the river, along with friends Tom and Sharon, and within seconds of arriving at the water’s edge Bubba was out in the river, preparing to jump up and hollering out “Cannonball!” Of course we all quickly told him you have to go out a little bit further before you can “cannonball”. So he did just that, becoming an instant river rat! Allison was right behind him and was delighted to learn that there were no moccasins, alligators, sharks or jellyfish in this water, not even fish that would bite you, which made her love it even more!
Raelynn joined in on the fun as well with her dad holding her, while dipping her feet into the ice cold water. At first she held her legs out vertically keeping them mere centimeters above the water’s surface, but quickly decided she rather liked that frigid water and commenced kicking and splashing with her legs and feet, while smiling and squealing with delight every time we put her legs down into the river. Each time we took her back out, she fussed until we put her legs back in, where she commenced kicking, splashing and squealing once again! “Yes!” I thought to myself . . . another little river rat in the making!
Hmmmmmm . . . I thought Y’all said it wasn’t cold!
Before long my sister Hayley was completely down in the water, and as always I was amazed at her incredible tolerance for icy cold water since she was a little girl! While she and Paul played in the river, Sharon enjoyed “Granny” time with Raelynn, while Wes and I took the kids tubbing down some of the rapids several times. We passed the relaxing evening, skipping rocks, swimming, tubing, and playing until several loud claps of thunder encouraged us to get out of the river.
Back at home and dried off we enjoyed homemade brownies, while playing pool until it was time to walk down and see our local fireworks. With Raelynn loaded in her stroller and the whole gang gathered, we commenced walking down the mountain to the grassy hillside below, where we enjoy watching the fireworks every year. Bubba’s favorite firework was a spiraling gold one, that he said sounded like a large marker writing on a board, and Allison’s favorite was one that upon exploding looked like numerous shimmering gold jellyfish slowly floating down the sky. Even my adorable niece Raelynn seemed to thoroughly enjoy the show and all of the activity along with it.
Once the show ended and the applause subsided, we started our hike back up the hill. Before leaving, we had moved Ellie Mae’s carrier into the dining room where it was quiet and safely away from possible visitors such as black bear, coyote and skunks. Of course she had worked up an appetite while resting and it was time for another bottle feeding once we got back. Since we couldn’t safely let her walk around outside that time of night, I suggested letting her walk around and explore the house which she seemed to really enjoy doing! While Ellie Mae explored and Wes and the kids checked out our rock collection, I enjoyed feeding my sweet little Raelynn.
All too soon the time had come for them to continue their journey back home to Florida, so upon saying our goodbyes, they were safely on their way and I was so hoping that they had somehow forgotten and left that precious baby goat, Ellie Mae, behind . . . sadly for me it didn’t happen.
Meanwhile back at the home front, we are excited to have two new residents! An adorable little Flying Squirrel named Rocky (after Rocky and Bullwinkle) has taken up residence in what we call the high rise birdhouse, since it’s taller than our house! Wes noticed it looking out the other day, and managed to snap a photo. We thought there was one around, after recently opening a bird house to clean it out, and a hundred acorns fell out! Needless to say, we shut the door and put them all back, feeding them through the small hole, like feeding quarters into a coke machine.
Lil’D, is our precious little DeKay’s Snake, who has claimed the greenhouse as it’s own! It happily lives atop a wicker table in the space underneath the glass top, and crawls under it’s blanket when it’s either too cool or too hot. From the chubby appearance of it, it’s either a she who is going to lay eggs or just a very well fed snake! At 12 inches, it’s full grown and loves eating slugs and snails, which helps keep things in check in the greenhouse, and I’m sure Lil’ D thinks it’s died and gone to heaven! It’s like having an awesome little pet in the greenhouse!
Precious little Rocky peaking out at us ~ Lil’ D enjoying her favorite spot
~ Fresh off the Easels ~
Meanwhile I’m continuing to paint on a couple of pet commissions, including the one below of two adorable friends Riley and Boris! I’m having great fun with this one and will share the finished painting with you soon!
Follow us on Facebook!
Until next time . . .