Sunday, August 15, 2010

Family Visit

My lovely niece Holly and wonderful sister Robin visited us this past week. I hadn't seen them in over two years, and it had been about seven years since they last visited us here in North Carolina. We had a wonderful time. Janis and I get to play tour guide when friends and family come to visit and this time was no exception. On Wednesday, we took them to my studio and then to Biltmore Village, where the girls shopped and we all ate at the Corner Cafe. This was one of the places that President Obama went when he was on vacation here in April, and it was excellent. The waiter assured us (wink wink) that, yes, we were sitting at the very same table where the President and Michelle sat.

On Thursday, we took them to lunch at the Grove Park Inn. We ate at the Sunset Terrace, their outdoor facility overlooking the golf course and Asheville. It was a perfect day for it, too, and the food (as always) was fabulous. Then we went downtown, where the girls shopped some more (hey, they're girls, they're supposed to shop).

On Friday, I took Robin and Holly up to Sam's Gap, on the NC/Tennessee border, to get a look at our spectacular mountains. Then we went to the Biltmore House. I hadn't been in two or three years and it was quite fun. They're always changing the tour routes through the house as new rooms are restored and old ones closed off for maintenance. After the house tour, we had lunch in the Stable Cafe, then went down to explore the gardens. A pretty perfect day, all in all.

We weren't always going/doing/eating, though, even though that's what my writeup seems to suggest. We spent a good bit of time just chilling here at the house. Robin and Holly are good chillers. They're both into knitting (Holly has an Etsy shop and a knitting blog that are both quite popular). Holly even knit a new shoulder bag for Janis while she was here - quite beautiful and Janis is ecstatic. What amazed me was that she could knit, talk, surf Facebook, and watch TV all at the same time. I have trouble doing one thing at a time; she could do at least four without breaking a sweat.

So it was great to catch up with them again. Family is important, and two years is too long to go between visits.

Since they left on Saturday, we've been getting back to normal. I went back to the studio today to get some work done. I wound up spending a couple of hours cleaning. When visitors are in my studio, they often say things like "oh, I'd love to live and work in a place like this!" Well, fantasy is one thing, reality another. Yes, it's a great studio, but there's one aspect that's annoying:

Bugs.

Spiders, specifically. One of my windows is right under an outside light and it is a magnet for spiders. The window was covered with cobwebs, dead bugs, and dozens of live spiders. Here's what the window sill looked like when I started:


Ugh. When was the last time you had to take a Shop Vac to your walls? And if you did, when was the last time you sucked up a spider big enough to rattle all the way into the bag? So after a couple hours work, the walls and windows were pretty clean and my Shop Vac bag is now a combination Superfund toxic waste site and spider sanctuary.

Tomorrow I'll try to get the creative juices flowing. Well, maybe dripping a little bit. But you gotta start somewhere.

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