Those Boots Are Made For Putting Away in the Spring

It is very cold out this morning, and believe it or not, it’s March 28 and we have a dusting of snow.   What is this about?   March is definitely going out like a lion.

I am focusing on cleaning my house all day today. I’m not even answering the phone.  I want to do some of the things that are passed over as we quickly do the weekly cleaning…like put my boots away.   However, they had to be cleaned first.  Here’s the tools of my trade.

Tools of the Trade

After I cleaned each boot, I either put them away in a box large enough to hold them or in these shoe organization units I got at IKEA a few years ago.  These come 4/$7.99.      Here’s the link:     I am not an IKEA person except for organization and storage.  For those, I am definitely an IKEA person.

Shoe Thing

You open them and zip them which gives them structure.

IKEA Shoe Box Zipper

Slip your shoes in the opposite side from the zipper.   These are a pair of ankle boots that I’ve had for 5 years.  The square heel is a little out of style, but I pay that no mind!  I still wear them occasionally.  They are very comfortable.  They are  Baretraps.

Ankle Boots Stored

And then…the opposite end opens with Velcro, and the shoes can be seen but they are protected.

Ankle Boots Hidden

I wear boots all winter long.  I love boots, and I try and take care of the ones that I’ve got.  I’ve learned that when you purchase a boot, you should purchase reasonably good ones.

These boots were purchased from Talbot’s in 2001.  Yes…count the years — 14 years ago!    There is not one “pick” in the leather.   They were on sale for about $100.   Considering the years of use I’ve received and the fact that these boots are comfortable and somewhat timeless, that has been a bargain.  I shined them up and put them away for another year.    I have Uggs that cost more but I know they will not last like these boots.  Still, I love my warm suede Uggs, too.  They are at the cleaners being cleaned and readied for winter.    For my leather boots, I cleaned them myself.

Brown Knee Boot

Alternatively, these boots  were purchased for about $30 last year.   They were so cute, and I wasn’t thinking smartly.  They are Rampage boots.  Look at them.  I threw them in the trash after this photo.   The leather is torn which can be forgiven but there also is a broken seam which says that the boot is not well made.  Cute, but I won’t do this again.

Torn Leather

More Baretraps.  Another favorite pair of boots are pictured below.  These boots are only a year old but I’ve worn them every week of the winter.   Not every day, but at least every week.  While they do not have a “shiny” look–they have been cleaned in this picture– there are no tears and all the seams are all strong.  They actually were never shiny!

Beartrap Boot Box

I wear the brown BareTraps below all of the time when I’m not working and once in a while when I am.    We have casual Friday at work, and yesterday I was sitting in a meeting beside the President of our company swinging my foot admiring my jeans and these boots while everyone was talking, and he looked at me with a look that said “you’re taking this casual thing a bit too far.”   I do admit they are more “Tractor Supply” than “regular work.”   Still,   I’ll  pretend that look was totally misunderstood and he was admiring my boots right along with me.   These are my every day “Go To” boots.  I love them.  I cleaned them up after this picture was made and put them away.   I’ll still be loving them next fall.

Bear Trap Brown

So the boots are cleaned and put away as I finish this post.   I’m now waiting on the electrician who is coming to do some work here…and while he’s doing some of the “hard things,” he is also hanging some lights.   I think it’s time to hang this!!   I’ll show it to you when it’s up (if it looks like it does in my mind’s eye)!!



Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage.


Riverside Campground and My Honeybees

Sunday was very nice.   We met our new friend Steve Dotson, and we visited Riverside Campground on the upper part of the North Fork near Abingdon.    When Steve found out were were going to Riverside, he said “are they open?”  Apparently he and his family vacationed at Riverside Campground each summer until it closed a few years ago, and he was not aware it had reopened.  It has, and it’s better than before!  More about that in just a minute.

The other thing is that my bees are holding their own.   I’m very relieved.    One hive may be in jeopardy, but two are doing very well.  I’m feeding them until the honey flow, and then they’ll have to forage for their food.

Here is Hive Number 1.  It came into 2014 very weak, and I requeened it and it’s been doing well ever since. is on my mind as I look at Hive Number 1.  See them crawling around on the outside…they are thinking…“Sugar water!  Gimme…gimme…gimmee!!

Hive 1

Hive Number 2 is below.   I’m worried.   I’ve looked inside the hive and there are bees, but I do not see what Gerald  and I think should be an appropriate level of activity, and they have shown little to no interest in the sugar water.  This breaks my heart.  I caught this hive during the summer of 2014.   I want them to do well.  I am going to talk with John Rhoton at Poor
Valley Bee Farm and possibly requeen this hive.

Hive 2

And here’s Hive Number 3.  This hive is entering its third year.   It produced swarms last year, and it’s coming into 2015 very robust.  I hope they decide to just stay around this year and make honey.  Swarms are natural but, seriously, I want some honey!!     What I like about this hive is that by this time, all of the bees including the queen are bees that have been born and raised in Virginia, and perhaps that is the reason that they are surviving these cold winters.

Hive No 3

I feel sorry for all the bees right now.  There isn’t anything for them to eat.   I see a few small flowers (weeds), but the bees keep looking.  I’m so glad I can help them out with sugar water.

Whew!  Now back to the campground.   I was so excited a few weeks ago when Shelly O’Quinn messaged me on the Adventure Mendota Facebook page and told me that she’d like some brochures.   She and Marty own Riverside Campground, and she said she thought she could send us some business this summer.     She is my new best friend!  We drove up yesterday.

Riverside Campground sign in front

Shelly and Marty bought Riverside out of foreclosure and opened as the new owners last summer.   It is a labor of love, but they also appear to have a solid business.    Here they are…

Shelly and Marty

They have a waiting list for some of the camp sites.   They have worked very, very hard to restore Riverside Campground from a period of neglect.   When we visited on Saturday, there was work going on everywhere.  Painting…pruning..etc.  Here’s the Game Room…notice that the shrubbery is pruned?

Game Room

Riverside has a pool that was redone last year, and Marty said that he’d done a great deal of work on the Bath/Shower house this past year.   There is a store and a laundry, as well as the restroom and shower facilities.   There’s a great deal of permanent spots for campers and then there’s places for short-term campers.   They have the best tent camping set up I’ve ever seen.   I took a picture.  It looks like there is both a spigot and electricity on that little post.  That means you can use a blow up mattress in your tent!!!   My sister, Nancy, and I think we should go tent camping!!


Riverside Campground Abingdon VA tent site

I live on the river–the very same river–but I would love to go up and camp and let Marty and Shelly do all the work keeping things going.  I’d just enjoy everything.  However, Adventure Mendota and Riverside Campground have seasons that are running concurrent so I won’t be doing any camping or vacationing with them this year.   They won’t be kayaking either…they’ll be up there working just like us.  However, we both agreed that wherever possible, we’d send each other business.    I like the way people work together.

So for all of you people who thought Riverside Campground was gone, it’s not.   Call them!!   The number is 276-698-5285.  The owners are working to make sure that it is sound and clean for years to come.


Riverside Campground Sign


Practice Makes Perfect!

Steve Going Fishing

Today a new friend, Steve Dotson, called and wanted to use Adventure Mendota’s park shuttle service. We’ll allow someone to park here and we’ll assist them with shuttle service for $10 per watercraft.    Steve has his own kayak, and after a long, cold winter, he was ready to do some serious fishing in the […]

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The White Sewing Machine Book Discovery

sewing machine

Today on my precious Saturday, I spent it with Mike and Gerald and about 14 other poor souls learning CPR and First Aid.    I learned some valuable skills which I hope I never use.  This was a requirement of our liability insurance.  Kerplunk!  (That was all three of us jumping through another hoop!).   […]

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Mendota 5K Race Results and Pictures

Sign 1

In Mendota we had our very first 5K race yesterday. No, I did not run, but I did take pictures! Also, I called the race organizer, Pastor Wayne, and  got the results which are here: 5K Race Results.      If your device cannot open this PDF and you ran in the race, message me and […]

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Guess What’s Arrived?

Kayak 2

I have 12 new babies I want you to meet.   They are very special, and they even have names.   Their names are Snickers, Candy Kiss, Red Hot, Sweet Tart, Hubba Bubba, Lemon Drop, Krackel,  Lollipop, Gumdrop,  Gummy Bear, Butterfinger and Milky Way. Can you guess what they are?   ?????????????? I’ll tell you what […]

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RiverCliff Cottage March 7 2015

Bees 030715

This post is really for me!   One of the great things about blogging is looking at what was going on at a specific time of year.   Today feels like spring is on its way.  It’s sunny and in the 50’s.  It’s a great day for me because Darrell Statzer replaced our well pump […]

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Water Water But Not Everywhere!

Winter Tree

Today has not been a great one here at RiverCliff Cottage. Mike and I got home last night at 10:00 pm and the North Fork was lapping at the banks like a hungry fox. It was scary, and I was so thankful that we actually made it home. I’d tucked some clothes away in case […]

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Update on My Honeybees February 28

Snow Day on Saturday

Hello!! I’ve missed you!! I hope you’ve missed me!!! I have not been posting often because we’re working on the last minute details before we make our “pitch” at the Washington County Entrepreneurs Challenge. We’re attempting to win $5K for Adventure Mendota. If we don’t win, we’ve had a tremendously positive experience, but hey…I still […]

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Update on Muffin the Cat

Hut Hilton

In a recent post, I mentioned that Mike and I had been “guest hosting” a feral cat that we’d named Muffin. The cat showed up for a day or two and then was gone.   It then appeared again about 10 days ago, and that’s when the weather started getting colder.   It hung out […]

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