Black Mountain Cabin Day 1


I really thought it was a bird

In my Happy 5th of July!, post, I put in a picture of Tsuki in which, I thought at the time, there was a bird on her back.

I even commented on it, and said that Margie apparently even did bird-sitting.

It was, in reality, a four-pound dog.

A friend of mine (and later, Margie), alerted me to the error of my ways. My friend sent me the “laughing so hard I’m crying” emoji.


In my defense:

  • I was given the picture via text on my iPhone 8, and it’s a small phone
  • I blog on my phone, so I saw a small picture
  • I blog in the dark, usually between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m., and, no, I don’t know why those hours
  • sometimes I get loopy in the wee hours
  • I have to wear high strength reading glasses to read anything, a) close to my face, b) with small type, or c) in the dark
  • When my eyes are tired (again, in the wee hours), I can barely see the phone screen, even with my readers
  • It did look like a bird

Why did Margie put a dog, even a tiny one, on Tsuki’s back to begin with? Who does that?

This justifies my thinking that it was a bird, because you might think one would put a bird on a dog’s back, but a dog on a dog’s back – not so much.

So, sorry to the dog’s owner, (although I can’t be responsible for the fact that you bought a dog that looks like a bird), and sorry to Margie for any explanation she had to give to potential bird-sitting clients.

Today was our first day in the cabin we rented in Black Mountain, NC,
3150 Catawba Falls   Parkway

We assigned rooms to the various family (they were calling me “the warden”) members. This was my and John’s room (you have to look at it sideways), and we put up a ton of food.

We’ve got four separate coolers filled with ice just for the drinks. There’s no room in the refrigerator.

John went a little wild at Sam’s club.

We could get trapped out here for a solid month, and not run out of food.

The cabin itself is beautiful. There are five master suites with en-suites and one bunk bed room with six bunk beds.

The bunk bed room is where:

  1. The Krajnik’s daughters, from Cornelius, NC, my lovely nieces, Stella and Cali (who is home for the summer from The University of FL), respectively ages 16 and almost 19, and,
  2. My daughter Greyson Poutas and her boyfriend, Ben Grant, (They both go to UNC-W), both ages 22, are sleeping

Now you may say they’re all a little too old to be in the bunk-bed room, and you may be right,

  • But, my middle son, Matthew Poutas, who lives in Charlotte, NC is 25 years old, and usually gets shafted in the sleeping arrangements on our cabin trips, so he got his own room this time
  • And, my oldest son, Ryan Masters, age 33 and traveling in from Lynchburg, VA, has a wife, Georgie, and is the father of my two grandchildren, Nehemiah, aged 5, and Eliza, who is almost 3. The kids sleep on cots, brought from home, in their parent’s room, so they needed their own space
  • My sister Elizabeth and her husband, Mark Krajnik, have to have their privacy, being a married couple and all
  • Then, there’s my 84 year old father, Kenneth Batson, and of course he’s gotta have his own room.

He’s already come out of his room – after retiring for the night – three times – once pantless while everyone was in the living room.

Now you know Ben and the girls didn’t need to see that. That image is probably seared into their retinas for life.

Such is life with Dad.

I got to spend lots of time talking with him before we left this morning.

  1. Apparently, he has a girlfriend, although he can’t remember her name
  2. Despite my vehement protestations that she can’t be his girlfriend if he doesn’t know her name, he told me he “laid one on her” (the man has no filter) when she was kissing his cheeks at the club he goes to that is mostly populated by military veterans who come on Saturday morning to listen to Bluegrass music (after fair warning of his intentions to the young lady, mind you)
  3. She liked this so much, she held onto his arm or “laid in front of him” (I’m not sure what this means, exactly) for the rest of the time he was there
  4. I’m thinking “Daddy issues” on her part, or
  5. He dreamed this happened and now believes it to be true (yes, this has happened before, as a matter of fact)

He’s an avid Trump supporter. I’m not. Politics make my eyes glaze over, but it’s his second favorite thing to talk about.

FOX news is on constantly in whatever room he happens to wander into and manage to turn the TV on in (he tried turning it on and changing the channel with his wallet the other day, it would have been really impressive had he managed to do so).

Then he regurgitates what he heard on FOX into ears (any ears, whether standing next to him in a grocery store line, or in the waiting room at a Dr.’s office) he’s like a bird feeding its unfortunately not deaf chicks.

Bless his little newly-turned Republican heart.

I love my quirky, delusional, sometimes selfish, “epitomizes what a Democrat is but is a Republican,” Dad.

He’s always laughing, joking loudly, and managing to unknowingly insult at least one family member a day (honey, what ails your face?).

It’s a pimple, Dad. Yes, I still get them, even at my age.

But, never in a mean way. He’d be horrified to think he’d hurt someone’s feelings, even as he’s telling stick-thin Stella, “honey, you don’t need that milkshake, you’re gonna get fat.”

He’ll tear the Democratic party a new one in every conversation if not stopped by a cleverly concealed change of topic like “would you look at that cloud, ” at which point the weather comes into play.

Weather is Dad’s third favorite thing to talk about.

In case you were wondering, his favorite thing to talk about is himself.

I figure if I live to be a semi-sane 84, I’ll talk alot about myself, too. Hell, I already do in these blog posts.

My excuse is I’m providing entertainment, the occasional educational tidbit, moral support, and the chance to make your life seem so much better in comparison to mine.

Believe me, these last three vacations have been the exception to the norm. I’m so excited about having something to write about, I got angina.

After next week, it’s back to hiding out in my cold house, anxious, depressed, and bored.

Medicine to keep me stable is a huge part of my life.

Believe me, I get it.

Mental illness blows.

Plan at least one thing a day. Like, say, brushing your teeth before 3:00 p.m.

  1. It doesn’t have to be huge
  2. Fold socks for five minutes
  3. Wipe down one countertop
  4. Read one page of a book

Pick one thing. Do it. Feel accomplished. Don’t try to do it all. That just leads to Overwhelm.

Overwhelm leads to paralysis.

Paralysis feeds the monster inside until it’s the size of an elephant.

So, how do you eat that elephant?

One bite at a time, my friend. Take one bite at a time.

Because you folded socks for five minutes, just like you said you would, you feel good.

You’re eating that elephant bite by singular bite. And so that monster starts to starve.

I care about you. Let’s eat some elephant.

We’ll starve that monster together.

If I survive family reunion week.







I am a freelance writer who makes words beautiful, exciting, persuasive, concise and alive, if a little loopy sometimes. I was born in S. Korea on an army base, and traveled the world from the age of 10 months into the present day, so I know a lot about many different topics. I've spent the last 22 years (and counting) raising three children into responsible young adults, and that is no mean feat. I've been writing for as long as I can remember: fiction, non-fiction, creative writing, poetry, creative non-fiction and all that falls in between. I'm a great researcher. I am also easy to work with. If you've got a topic that needs to be written about, I can write it. I've been married for 26 years to the same man, and that's a whole topic unto itself! If you need a freelance blogger or writer, hire me. I won't let you down. Contact:,, Instagram: @vickypoutas,, Facebook: