2014 in Review at RiverCliff Cottage

When I think of 2014, I think “what the heck happaned?”    I feel like a loser except in weight loss!!   I didn’t do the things that I wanted to do, and my blogging wasn’t really very good.    However, 35,912 times many of you took a peek at what was going on at RiverCliff Cottage, and each month, the number edges up–in spite of my lack of attention.   Thank you!!   

Here’s January 2014!      The North Fork was faareezin, and I could not stop talking about it and taking pictures.    I’d slap a picture up on the blog and the views came in pretty quickly.   You were like me…wanting to look at our river.   It was cold as a titches wit.  

River Road Again

I didn’t do anything crafty in January outside of making a diaper cake.   Here she is:

Shabby Chic Diaper Cake

And February, which is really my least favorite month of the year, I opted not to blog.  I posted three times and one was to tell everyone I was on a Bloggy Vacation.   What was really happening was that I wasn’t doing anything except spending time with my Gracie.     So here comes March…and I was glad that I’d spent all those days and evenings near my girl.  She left me on March 10.    She was almost 15.

Gracie Stretching

I threw myself into being busy.   I made another diaper cake.

Diaper Cake Sea Turtle

Worked on the Dale Jett & Hello Stranger concert which was held in April and that brings us around to April.


One post that month received a lot of views  — about 4000.    It was a ridiculous conversation I had about wienies. 

I get lots of questions and messages about my bees, and in April, we all breathed a collective sigh of relief that they were doing well.  And then…you were with Gerald and me when we caught the swarm.  We climbed a steep bank like two billy goats and caught the bees.  It was exciting!

Bees 042714

I started feeling pretty good by the end of April.   Spring!!

Spring NoTalent Chalkboard Window

So May rolls around, and I took you with me to Mt. Vernon UMC for a birthday party and we ran into the BBC filming a documentary which will be a part of the first episode of the American Roots Music series on PBS.     I think that show is in May 2015–watch for it!!   Except that they all wore black and we all wore denim,  and they talked weirdly different than us, they were definitely kin.   Here’s Dale Jett and one of the directors.

Dale and Friend 2

I planted my garden.   It breathed life into me.

Potatoes and Blueberries

May was really about the outside for me.    I planted flowers everywhere, and of course, I honored Mike’s most important flower…the television satellite dish.   Ugh.

Side Garden

I took pictures of this spot all summer…in a short while it looked like this.    Mike could not have been more proud of his Dish flower.   

Side Garden with Dish

June rolled around, and I made some wonderful strawberry lavender jam and strawberry rhubarb jam.   I’m going to make 150 of these next year.  I’m serious.   If you’re on my Christmas list for 2015, you’ll get one.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

and there was a wedding…

Wedding Bells Wreath on Pole

Helene’s daughter got married.   It was lovely.


I also painted our master bedroom.   I will be working further in this room after Luckie is no longer with us.  I’m back to where I was in February….holding off on doing things while I say goodbye.

Master Bedroom 1

I enjoy the “restful retreat” feeling.

Master Bedroom 5

Oh my gosh…July is here!!  July was a blur for me as I made countless trips to the garden to remove Japanese beetles.    My neighbors were not touched, but I was covered up with beetles.  I hated them but refused to spray.    I dreamed about them, and it’s the first creature that I actually enjoyed killing.   “Struggling for breath in soapy water Mr. Beetle?  Tell someone who cares.”    I learned that they are very sexual and had orgies on my Mountaineer Half Runner Green Beans.

 I made the easiest wreath one could imagine.   I recycled the wedding wreath I’d made.

Wreath 1

The JSB Class of 1974.    This was an important reunion because we realized it didn’t matter who was fatter, who was grayer, balder, thinner, richer,  etc.   We were just happy to be there.    God bless the JSB Class of 1974.   We’ve lost so many.

Group Picture 1

August was beautiful.   My cottage garden which is primarily perennials was looking very sunny.


Lots of my favorite flower…and the beautiful mountain in the background.  Sumthin’ special!!


Those flower seeds had blossomed into beautiful flowers.   Another seed was being planted.   Mike and I looked out on the muddy river and saw this…

Floaters 5

“We sure see a lot of kayakers on the river.”

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”   was a question asked later that weekend.    Floating the Fork was the title of that post and it is our “go to” phrase when we talk about Adventure Mendota.

September’s here, and I reworked the wreath a third time.

Fall Wreath Chair

For crying out loud, can somone take all of these darn diapers away from here?   Here’s ANOTHER diaper cake.

Diaper Cake

It was defnitely fall because I drug out the chalkboard spray and redid the window.

Fall Mantle 1

More things were going on behind the blog.   Mike and I were talking about money.   If we did the Adventure Mendota thing, it would not take a lot of money, but we would have to buy kayaks, buy liability insurance, buy something to transport people, a trailer to haul the kayaks, plus numerous other expenses, etc.    With any business there is risk–what if it failed–and we knew the money would come from our savings.    Mike was retired,  and I worked about 10 hours per week.    I was totally uncomfortable with more money going out,  so I told Mike “I’m going back to work full time, and I’m going to work for quite a while–maybe five years or so.”

October, November and December came.  We were busy working on things behind the scenes.  There was a lot to do.  We bought a used MEOC van from Terri and Brock and Clinch River Adventures.

Fork Taxi

I learned to kayak.

Kayak Hard

The bees were “put to bed” for the winter.  Lord, please keep my bees alive.

Bees 1111

I knew I was going to work soon, so I worked nonstop on things for Adventure Mendota.

Technology Rocks

Mike went before the Washington County Planning Commission and then before the Washington County Board of Supervisors.   Adventure Mendota was approved unaminously.

And on November 24th, I returned to work at my new job, and I continued to work on the social media for About Face.

We really scaled down our activities which weren’t really that high energy to start with!!   We’ve stayed very close to home with Luckie.    She’s the last of three dogs that captured our hearts.   She’s been a true friend for 15 years, and I want to be with her during these last days.    Luckie was left by the road when she was about 6 months old.  She’s been with us since that time and brought so much joy to our lives.    She’s had a large tumor removed when she was 3, her left ACL replaced when she was 7 and her right ACL replaced when she was 9.    We can fight what we can fight, but her hips and legs are extremely arthritic and she’s stumbling more often.   Her time is now measured in weeks.

Luckie in the Truck

I’m thankful that we can spend this quality time with her, but I’m also recalling a time that Mike and I used to enjoy traveling.   We’ve got lots of plans for long weekends here and there in the spring and fall surrounding Adventure Mendota.  We’re planning on some upgrades to the house…and there will be other dogs who need us.  We’re planning for the next season in our lives.   The one that will begin sometime in 2015.

And, of course, we’re going to Float the Fork in 2015.

Happy New Year.





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