Teddy’s Restaurant in Nicklesville, Virginia

A couple of days I wrote about the trip Mike and I took across Clinch Mountain. I didn’t tell you what we did when we got to the other side. We went to Teddy’s!!! If you haven’t been, you know it’s worth the trip. I’ll bet 50 percent of the people who go across the mountain from Mendota end up at Teddy’s.

Teddys 1

See the burger on the sign above? If you want a burger like that one, you just tell your waitress to “run it through the garden!” I loved hearing that. Mike ordered his hamburger, and she said “Honey…do you want me to run it through the garden?” I wish she’d let me take her picture. I was able to get a picture of this handsome guy!

Cute Boy at Teddy's

They serve great ice cream. It’s busy all the time, but in the summer, it’s really busy…probably because of the ice cream. The people are nice, the prices are good, and the food is great. They even have fried pickles.

Teddys 3

Tractors are welcome at Teddy’s. While we were there, a farmer parallel parked his tractor, came in, ate his lunch and got a “to go” for his wife. I liked that. I liked this guy, too. His name was “Flip” and he said for me to tell everyone hello!

Teddys 4


Drive Across Clinch Mountain

So….we came home from the vet today without Gracie…my 15-year old Golden Retriever.  She could no longer walk more than a few feet without falling.   I have been talking about Gracie on this blog and how I felt her time with me was limited, so this was something I was prepared for.    Not. You are never prepared for loss.  As this goes, it was as good as it could be.  Dr. Dotson sedated her so that she wouldn’t have anxiety.  I held her, breathed in her stinkiness one last time, and following a series of injections, she peacefully left me.   I loved that dog.  I am having her cremated, and like her sister, Annie, she will be buried with Mike or me…whoever goes first. Do dogs go to Heaven?

Mike and I came home bereft.  Empty.  What to do…what to do..what to do?   When Mike asked the question…how did I wanted to spend the remainder of the day…I told him I’d like to go across Clinch Mountain. I am a mountain person, and I cling to what I love during times of loss. So…we got in the truck and took off. I took my camera. The pictures are not that great because the mountain is still sleeping in winter.  It’ll burst in green in just a few weeks.  There will be dogwood blooms…mountain laurel…a symphony of beauty.   However, if you have ties to Clinch Mountain, you’ll still enjoy going along with me on this day of gray.

Up up up we go on the dirt road.  I have an affinity to this road–it’s called Pinnacle Road, but I still refer to it as “The Mountain Road”. The Barker family once (many years ago) operated part of the road as a toll road.    

Mountain Road 1

Can you see the incline increasing? We are driving into the sky.

Mountain Road 2

No guardrails. If you meet someone, you have to determine who is going to back up to a wider spot. Yikes. It’s a little dicey.  You must rely on sky to catch you if you go off the road to the left in the picture below.

Mountain Road 3

We’re at the top in this picture and this pathway is where you’d hike up to the tower.

Mountain Road Top

Because Mike was driving with his not-so-great-knee and a sprained ankle, we omitted part of the trip…the part where we hike to the firetower.   Honestly, however, if I’d said I wanted to hike up there, he would have crawled. He wanted so badly for me to not be sad.   So sweet.  I’ll go another time. When the Hawk Count occurs in September, there’s lots of folks up here. Lots of hawks, some Golden Eagles and some Bald Eagles are seen here. Once at the top, you cross from Washington County into Russell County and start going down. It’s more trecherous going down than driving up. Here we go!

Gotta be careful…see where the road has caved in ahead on the right!!   I wish we had stopped so I could take a picture of where that goes…straight down!

Road caving in

Looking through these trees, I see the fire tower.  Can you find it?  This is like looking at one of those pictures in the HighLights Magazines in the dentist office!  It’s there…you just have to look.

Tower Peek

I held the camera out the window as we passed so this is a picture of the road just behind us.  It’s not particularly steep at this point, but still…I wonder why there is no guardrail anywhere on this road?

No Guard Rail

God’s Country. This will be so much prettier in a few weeks, but I love it every day…any time. Like Ava Marie in Big Stone Gap…I’m a flat-bottomed mountain girl! When is that movie coming out anyway?    If you don’t know what I’m talking about…it’s the movie based on the book by Adriana Trigiani entitled Big Stone Gap starring Patrick Wilson and Ashley Judd. It was filmed in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

Russell county Side 2

Once we near the bottom there’s a pretty barn and quilt square. Russell County is forming a Russell County Barn Quilt Trail.  I am so jealous.  Maybe they’ll annex Mendota, so we can get in on the action. We’re dragging our feet in Washington County.

Quilt Square

Mocassin Creek flowing below…you can see the remains of a dam…was there a mill here at one time? Also, are there mocassins in the creek or is it named that because it snakes along like a mocassin?

Mocassin Creek Dam

And…I wonder who Bill Jackson Hartsock is/was?

Bill Jackson Bridge

If you got this far in this post, I suspect you’re from Mendota or you have ties to Southwest Virginia. Thank you so much for reading RiverCliff Cottage. I love sharing this beautiful place and our rural life in Mendota with you.


Annie Sloan Paint Project Day One

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! I have been reading about it in all the pins, blogs and magazines for several months now, and last week I visited the Annie Sloan website to find a local dealer. I found one in Mendota! LIE! JOKE! We don’t even have a store of any kind in Mendota! However, there is someone who carries Annie Sloan nearby–in Johnson City, Tennessee. It’s called “The Sparrow’s Nest.”

Mendota, Virginia is about 45 miles from Knob Creek Road in Johnson City, Tennessee where the Sparrow’s Nest is located….just long enough to be considered an event!

We didn’t have any problem finding it.   It’s located in an historic old house that was used in the days of the Underground Railroad! If you visit the Sparrow’s Nest, ask to be shown the trap door that was used so many years ago. Shivers!

Sparrows Nest, Johnson City, Tennessee

I went in and quickly picked out the color of paint I wanted. It is a gray blue called “Duck Egg.” I’ll show it to you a bit further down on this post.

However, there were so many treasures at the Sparrow’s Next. Here’s a few…

Sparrow's Next Vignette

And this…

Sparrow's Nest Halloween Vignette

Lorrie Malcolm, the person who sold me the paint, is also an artist.   She both works and sells her things at the Sparrow’s Nest and mentioned that there were several locally made pieces in the shop.    She was working on a “felting” project which will result in a Thanksgiving turkey.  Here’s a picture of what she has completed so far….

Lorrie Malcolm's Felting at the Sparrow's Nest

Here’s another whimsical piece that Lorrie made.  It’s a really good likeness of “the man in the moon!” If I could afford this, I’d take it home. It was reasonably priced, but I’m on a tight budget right now!

Sparrow's Nest Man in the Moon

And this…for me…this was an inspiration piece…an old frame, a bit of burlap and a stencil and I could make this.  Or I could just go back to the Sparrow’s Nest and buy this one!

Sparrow's Nest Thankful Picture

And doesn’t everyone need a pair of these? I’ve got my eye on them. Ha!

Sparrow's Nest Eyeballs

Now..back to why I ended up at the Sparrow’s Nest. I brought the Annie Sloan chalk paint home.

Annie Sloan Duck Egg Paint

As soon as I got home with the paint, I went upstairs into the loft area of our house and came down the stairs grunting carrying an end table.  Mike looked at me as if I had a third eye and asked, “What are you doing?”  I’ve kept him a little in the dark about this project, so I just replied, “Nothing.” He said, “Oh no…not again!”

Here’s the table before I started painting it.  Boring.

End Table Before Picture

This paint is so pretty…

Annie Sloan Duck Egg

My friend, Sue Gardner, is staying with me for a few weeks, and she helped me. Here she is…painting away!

Sue Gardner painting

And here I am with phase I of this project done!   By the way…can you tell I’ve lost a few pounds? I’m on it baby!

Eva Beaule painting

The good thing about this paint is that there is no prep work. I dusted the end table off and started adding paint. Tomorrow morning we’ll add a second coat, and Friday we’ll probably add the wax. Hopefully, this will be beside the  bed in just a few days looking all fancy.

Another wonderful thing from today…our beautiful Clinch Mountain. I could not live where this mountain was not at my back. It’s getting fancy, too, all bright and beautiful for fall…

Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage.


Daily Mendota July 15

In church today, we recognized Mrs. Faust’s 75th birthday.  She spoke of how grateful she was to live today when things are easier than when she was born 75 years ago.  When she was born, she was a “blue” baby so she was bundled up and placed in the cookstove’s oven to keep warm.   No bathrooms, no phones, no A/C.    Yikes.   Things have changed a lot.   I like simple living with the ammenities.  

On Swinging Bridge Road in Mendota,  until about six months ago, we could only get internet via dial up or satellite.  Satellite was marginally better than dial-up, and it was almost $80 per month.  When we had problems–and there were numerous problems–I spoke with an off-shore call center in India.   However, because we have a direct view of the Mendota Fire Tower, we now get our internet from a local source (at half the price). 

It is faster, and  I like working with folks from Grundy, Virginia.    I think Mike calls “Joe” if he has questions, and if “Joe” has questions about whether the power is off on this side of Clinch Mountain, he calls Mike.    It works.

I want to show you just how direct we are from the Mendota Fire Tower to my house.  My niece took this picture from the base of the tower.  

That’s me down there inside the house with my laptop!

Here’s Lacy’s picture of the firetower.  Lacy is my niece, and  she has a magical eye. 

I’m glad the Mendota Fire Tower has been repurposed and put to good use.  I always want to see it on top of the mountain when I sit on my porch.  When I was a little girl, Landon Carrier was the fire warden for the Mendota Fire Tower.  He was a big man and I wondered about how he got up the steps?   We visited the Fire Tower one day and he gave me a Coke.  I immediately loved him. 

Can you imagine how hot it was up there on top of Clinch Mountain during August?   On a clear day, he told us he could see into five states.  

Back on the ground, I’m going to try and get my pantry together tomorrow.  It will be so nice to have this done!




Coming Home To Virginia


Hay Cutting Time May 2012

Last week I made an overnight trip to Alpharetta, Georgia for work.  I got home just in time to see Mr. Faust mowing hay in the backyard.  Smelled so good.  If I could package this smell, I’d be a rich woman!

Even after one night, I get excited returning home to Mendota.   Clinch Mountain…happy feet…security.  All one and the same to me.

I am a mountain person.  I don’t feel safe if Clinch Mountain is not at my back.   In Adriana Trigiana’s book Big Stone Gap, Ave Maria describes herself as a “mountain girl with a flat butt.”  That’s me.

I am not, however, dissing an overnight trip.   I even brought a pal back home with me.

My pal PB!

She’s got good taste!   Stuff for the master bedroom.  I’ll show you the pictures when the goodies come out of the bag.   Currently, I’ve got PB and her contents hidden in the closet.   Beginning next week, I’m starting the process of cleaning and painting and freshening up the inside of my house.  It’s dirty filthy nasty!


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