Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Beer Can House

Howdy folks. Thomas Calder reporting from Tatiana's post. The Misses is slacking on all the wild fun we are (were) having (the fun has since passed, as Tati landed a full time gig, while work and classes have turned me into a real life ghost).

Anywho, this here is the Beer Can House. John Milkovisch began the project back in the late 1960s after he retired from the Southern Pacific Railroad. Long story short, this corky Houstonian drank a lot of beer and decided he never wanted to paint his house again, so he decked it out with leftover cans and bottles. In his honor I am drinking a beer right now.

Here's the man of the hour: John Milkovisch with his lovely wife Mary. Cute as cornflakes, wouldn't you say?

It's a bit hard to tell, but what we are looking at here is the front door of the house. Now if you click on this picture and look real hard you'll strain your eyes, but once the agony from the strain subsides, you might see the slit near the upper right hand side of the door, which was how the Milkovischs saw who came a-knocking.

Now Mrs. Mary Milkovisch made a deal with Old John that he could do with the outside whatever he want, but that the inside of the house was not to be touched. Thus, we are looking at Tatiana's dream kitchen.

Next on our tour: the backyard. This whole project actually began from the ground up, when Johnny Boy decided he was done mowing the lawn. To make this dream a reality John began inlaying all sorts of stuff (marble, rocks, metal pieces) into concrete in order to cover up the grass.

A close-up on the backyard wall.

This here is part of the front yard.

A view from the porch. As you can imagine, when the wind blows it makes a nice bit of noise. I spoke with the sole tour guide working the place to ask what happens during bad storms/hurricanes. They have a wire system in place that allows them to remove the can tops in sections.

This concludes our tour. Above us now is the ladder that Mr. Milkovisch painted and placed in his front yard. If you return to the first picture you might notice that one of the steps on the ladder is black. John said he painted it black as a reminder that as you climb your way up in life, there is always the chance to fail, but that failure ain't nothing but a minor misstep. I like that.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Max Patch

I'm going back in time for this post since I just realized I forgot to post these amazing pictures from Max Patch in North Carolina.

First off, if you ever go to western North Carolina you must go here. Second, Googlemaps LIES. This is NOT an hour away from Asheville. It's more like 2 and a half. And most of the ride is on a gravel road that will absolutely mess up your car.'s soooo worth it. Your first views are these beautiful and calm rolling hills and meadows...

Once you cross the meadows...this is your view. AMAZING (though not panoramically correct in placement, oops be sure to click on the picture!)

You also have an endless supply of wild blackberries to eat all along the way.

this is a happy dog.

picking wildflowers. I forgot to take a picture of the bouquet I left with.

Seen any bear poop lately? They sure love berries!

Spreading world peace.

To Kyle and boys would have crossed this marker on the Appalachian Trail had you not quit so early!!

I'm not sure if you can see the black specs in most of these pictures...

they are actually sparrows speeding through the air all around you and somehow they manage never to hit anything. Here's one in action:

Possibly my favorite place on Earth.

On the way back we stumbled upon the St. Jude's Chapel of Hope on the way home. Pretty lucky considering I bookmarked it as a place to visit when I saw it featured in WNC magazine. Very pretty non-denominational church open to the public 24/7.

and it was next to this beautiful river and barn.

You MUST go here if you are ever in the area! More Texas current events to come!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

some quick shots of the apartment

This is where we live...

For my momma who worries about the neighborhood I live in: It's a street full of lovely houses!

Here's the courtyard

And the living/main/dining room

modeling the couch

the "kitchen" or more like extremely tiny space good for preparing only frozen dinners. I'm constantly running into things in here. Things get ridiculous when two people and a dog are crammed in. Makes for interesting cooking experiences. Just don't turn or make any sudden movements with a knife in hand!

The empty looking bedroom which is surprisingly pretty large. We have a big desk to the right of the bed. Lots of space! 3 closets!

For Aunt Carol:

Tom insisted on taking a picture of our fridge

Our outgoing mailbox. It gets the job done.

And here's the little monster after his brawl with the neighbors sweet little dog Bella. They were friends hanging out in the courtyard for hours until bad looks where exchanged and Poof decided to attack for no good reason. He got what he deserved (a huge huge gash above his eye that I thought would require some serious stitches...and getting beat by a girl half his size) but it healed up shut by morning. It also did some serious damage to my wallet for the vet bill the next morning. Oh, Poof.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Long Drive Out

And so begins the lengthy post of a not so interesting and never ending drive to Texas from Asheville. Here are a few highlights...

This was my rear view mirror view. Thank heavens for Mamma Joanie and Da transporting 75% of our stuff first to Florida then to Texas! We would have had to leave nearly everything behind without her! Thomas' car was packed to capacity with artwork alone!

We drove from Asheville, NC to Mobile, AL on our first day. That's a total of 543 miles and 9 hours! 9 hours of a whole lotta nothing to look at! Flat lands sure made me miss the mountains pretty quickly. Here's an amazingly high bridge we crossed to get to Mobile. It really looks teeny tiny in this picture though!

We met up with the Calder parentals in Mobile and had an awesome night of pretty tasty hotel buffet with 3 free beers and margaritas per person!! Alabama folk sure are friendly and Poof loved hotel life. Our room on the second floor gave him perfect views of the hot ladies swimming in the pool. He was constantly looking out the window.

Day 2 consisted of 468 miles in 8 hours from Mobile, Alabama to Houston, Texas. We crossed through Alabama, Mississippi, and into Louisiana in 2 hours time since you are driving through the smallest portions of those states. I think this picture was in Mississippi.

This one's for my momma. Mississippi loves this Canadian hunk!!

I was surprised at how many signs driving through Louisiana were really in French! Pretty cool!

My first glimpse of water! I think we drove on bridges over the Gulf and wetlands 85% of the time through Louisiana. However, I had no idea how long the state was and gotta pretty bored after the first hour.

But then we drove through New Orleans!

the superdome!

After that...there were more bridges.

Follow that Texas trailor!

Biggest bird's nest I've ever seen.

Poof provided little to no entertainment on this trip. He was probably exhausted from the rollercoaster of emotions leading up to our departure. I'm convinced he thought we were leaving him in Asheville! I couldn't load anything in the car or go in the garage without him speeding down the stairs, sitting patiently by the car door and jumping in as soon as he could every time I opened it. Not to mention the sheer joy once he realized we were definitely not leaving him behind. But a few hours in he probably realized he was in it for the long haul and got bored. I only wish I could've heard his thoughts when he found out there was a whole other day of driving after the first one. Here's the mentally exhausted dog.

Crossing the mighty Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, LA.

Fun Louisiana signs for my family to giggle at:

Oh, how I thought this sign would never come! Woohoo! Finally!

Fun facts:
Total mileage- 1,024
Total travel time- 2 full days of driving/17 hours
States driven through- North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas...SIX!
Average outdoor temperature throughout drive- probably 101F