Black Mountain Cabin Day 4

Black Mt. and The Blue Ridge Mts.

The view from our balcony this morning

I didn’t write for two days because The Krajniks and The Poutases went hiking yesterday, and it rained all day the day before so nothing overtly crazy happened.

I’m sorry: all the Poutases went hiking but me.

I don’t do hiking.

Instead, I stayed in bed until 4:00 p.m.

Okay, I admit it, I’m a bad daughter and grandmother because:

  1. Dad was home
  2. as was the Masters family
  3. and I could have spent time with him
  4. or my grandchildren
  5. and didn’t.
  6. Let the flogging begin

In my defense, during the rain day, I spent plenty of time with all three, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

  • ‘Iah and Eliza are a delight
  • and Dad is always fun to be around.
  • You never know what’s going to come out of any of their mouths next.

Today, some of us went tubing. Tubing I can handle.


I had an overwhelming fear that I was going to get left behind, because although all our tubes we’re latched together at first, the younger ones, Cali, Stella, and Greyson unlatched immediately and were gone down river in a flash of bright, pink tubing.

I latched onto John’s tube and wouldn’t let him unlatch it even though it made us heavier and slower.

I’m sure that’s going in the evaluation.

We were in last place with Ben (more on that later) for a short period of time, but John had a paddle and he wasn’t afraid to use it – including to splash water in Ben’s face.


Because Ben was there.

My husband is a small child sometimes.

He wanted Ben to react, so they could have a water-splashing fight. Ben went one better and leapt out of his tube looking to soak John.

Unfortunately for Ben, he misjudged how deep the water was, and down he went.

Hey Ben, Ray Bans don’t float.

John’s decision to buy four pair of cheaper sunglasses off Amazon was suddenly not as stupid as I had originally thought.

So, Ben’s Ray Bans became a casualty of the river. RIP Ray Bans.

The poor kid was only back there with us because Greyson was mad at him for taking her paddle when we were just starting, allegedly laughing “his evil laugh,” in her face as he did so.

He was giving her time to get far ahead of him so she wouldn’t have to be anywhere in his general vicinity, which was what she wanted.

When she gets mad, she gets Mad with a capital M. Ben knows enough to give her plenty of space until the storm blows over.

Stella had to pee, so she unlatched and slipped off her tube into the water to go.

She almost didn’t make it.

These tubes had bottoms and a tendency to flip upside down while you were trying to clamber back in from the river.

We’re all yelling “use your core muscles,” and “push up hard from the bottom, Stella!” while she struggled.

So one of the guys held the headrest firm, and that held her tube still enough (and upright enough), until finally, success was hers, and she shimmied her way back onto the tube’s seat.

It was like watching that scene from the cartoon, SpongeBob SquarePants, where the song goes 🎶”so fall on the deck and flop like a fish.”🎶

I don’t know if those are the right words to that song (so, stop judging me), but there was a lot of fish-flopping going on.

Meanwhile, I had to pee so bad it hurt, but I knew I’d never get my short, fat, non-exercised, no-strength-having body back into the tube if I got out.

With all that water flowing out and around me, it was honestly hard for me to tell when I was done. Sounds ridiculous, right? Try it.

  • I think I wee-weed a little in the tube because I thought I was done, but I was, apparently, not “all the way done”
  • “All the way done,” stipulates no more drips, drops, or other flowage emits from my body
  • Unfortunately, this was not the case
  • If it helps those of you out there now saying “ewww,” and clutching a hand to your breast
  • I’m sure the tubing company completely rinses each tube out after its been used
  • Surely…

Anyway, we all latched back together a little later on down the river.

Everyone talked and laughed and splashed…and unlatched me when I wasn’t paying attention.

Only me.

They had their hysterics at my panicked reaction when the reality of what they’d done finally dawned on me, then laughingly latched me back onto the group.


By then, we were almost done, anyway. I was the first one back on dry, solid, land when we reached the end of our ride, I can tell you that.

As an aside, this peeing business and the flock of ducks we saw swimming (and I’m sure, pooping) in the water is why I don’t drink spring water. (We were calling out to them, “caw caw,” one of us would call. “Caw caw,” another would echo. I’m sure the other people on the river thought we’d lost our freakin’ minds).

My aversion to spring water (from pure mountain springs), started many trips back when we went white water rafting, and I saw a big, black, bloated rat floating dead near the riverbank.

It’s been purified water for me ever since.

  • Yes, the source of spring water is not those rivers
  • Yes, it’s silly
  • Yes, I understand that purified, bottled water is akin to expensive tap water
  • No, I won’t switch

Even Tsuki’s water comes from a Brita filter.

Elizabeth, Mark and Dad went to the Biltmore Estates today to visit mom’s memorial site.

Elizabeth and Mark have annual passes so they can visit her final resting place when they want.

They told some extravagant lie to get Dad in at a cheaper rate.

We put Mom’s ashes in the coneflowers under the lavender last year

She’s in the Rose Garden, where she can smell the lavender that grows atop the wall above.

Ryan managed to Google the location of a nearby park, so the Masters family went there so ‘Iah and Liza could play all day.

Tomorrow is more FIFA World Cup action for John from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Then, Matthew has booked us an Escape Room for 12 (I don’t think they count Nehemiah and Eliza) in Asheville for 6:30 p.m.

While I enjoy these Escape Rooms, I totally suck at them.

Everyone else is busy figuring out clues. I’m good at reiterating what’s already been done.

Basically, I’m clueless.

My job is to hold the walkie-talkie and ask for one of our allotted clues when we get stuck.

THAT I can do splendidly.

It’s important to do what you can do.

Don’t sweat the stuff you don’t know, or stuff you can’t do anything about anyway.

All that’ll get you is sweaty. Plus, you might end up feeling stupid, and/or, helpless.

You’re good at something, even if it’s just holding the walkie-talkie and asking for the next clue.

You do you better than anyone in the world.

Never forget that.

PS: I ordered a new stylus from Amazon because I managed to break one head on one of the two I have.

PPS: I had it sent here to the cabin with special driving instructions on how to get here. Then I saw the mailboxes at the bottom of the hill. Not that I have a key to open it with, and not that I even know this cabin’s mailbox number.

PPPS: We’re the last cabin at the very top of a mountain with roads so twisty, and so many turns to make it to the right roads to get to the right cabin, I get naseaus whenever we leave to go someplace.

PPPPS: What was I thinking? I’ll never see that stylus, so I hope this one holds out.

BTW, every female I talked to about my $210 traumatizing nail treatment has said they would have asked questions when given the bill, or raised hell about not getting what they came for in the first place, AND WALKED OUT without getting a thing done.

I’m wearing this manicure/pedicure until my nails fall off or I look like Fu-Manchu and they’re starting to curl and shit.

Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you.

In the meantime, look for the upside in life.

And, believe in yourself.


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: