Articles (Blog)
Posted on January 17, 2019 11:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
Jon took this picture this morning as the sun was coming up. 
A beautiful reminder that it's a new day with no mistakes in it.  
I hope you're making the most of it.
Happy Thursday!!!
Posted on January 3, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
Momma is out of hospital and finished with rehab.  It has been a whole month!!
She's getting stronger every day, and is ready to move back to Atria, her assisted living home.  Since transitions are so difficult on the elderly, my sisters have asked me to come stay the first few nights with her.  Even though her pictures and furniture and things are there, we want to be sure that she has somebody familiar there in the middle of the night.  
And so she doesn't feel babysitted, I can just be coming for a visit, and still preserve her dignity as an independent person.  She turned 95 in December, and is doing remarkably well.
Thank you, friends, for your loving thoughts and prayers.  We are going to make this a great new year!!!
I'll be on the lookout for something interesting to blog about.  
Hope to see you soon!!!
Posted on January 2, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
Here we are again on the trail.
We saw lots of cars on the road today, but nobody on the trail.  Hmmmm.
It's really pretty down here.  Nice weather, fresh air, exercise.  
Hope to see you soon.
Posted on December 30, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: General
Where in Five Forks is this?
If you don't know, then you've never been on the Creekside Hiking Trail. 
This is the bridge that crosses the creek about half way down the trail.  
The hiking trail has always been here.  And it's delightful spring, summer, fall, and winter.  There is always something new to see.  It's not a long or strenuous hike, just go slow on the uphill climb.  
You really should check it out.  It's beautiful right now.  I hope to see you out there.
Happy Hiking!!!
Posted on December 18, 2018 9:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: A story to share
Sorry it's been so long since I've written a blog.  The last couple ones were written on my phone. Way too much work. 
Well I have an iPad now, a gift from a friend. And I have something important to write about. 
This is our friend, Floyd Bowen.  He was very instrumental in the establishment of our Fve Forks community.  When the Board of Directors was getting started, Floyd volunteered and served on the board for 2 years. Then he was reelected for two more years. During that time he facilitated the establishment of the bylaws for our HOA. Lots of legal stuff, which he understood. He offered wisdom and advise based on his experience as a lobbyist for Exxon in the state of Texas. 
Floyd and Lois were some of the first residents in Five Forks.  Their permanent home is in Austin, Texas, and they would travel by car to North Carolina; nearly 1000 miles, to spend time in their mountain home.  
When they were here, often staying 3 months at a time, they worshipped at the Methodist Church in Young Harris, and played bridge several times a week.  They loved to travel too.  We heard about cruises, trips to Europe, and other adventures.  We also heard good stories about their children and grandchildren.  They were very proud of them all. 
Now for the the rest of the story.  Early last year Floyd was diagnosed with liver cancer.  He bravely underwent treatment, and got the green light to go on with his life.  When he went for a 6 month check up, they found that the cancer was back, and had spread.  He volunteered for an experimental drug, knowing that it wouldn't cure him, but may help somebody in the future.  Floyd was only 80 years old, but had such a good outlook on life, we all thought he would pull through it.  The doctors knew otherwise.  So they began Hospice care, and made those difficult end of life decisions. They sold the mountain house, and concentrated on living their best life while they still had it together. Floyd died on Saturday, December 15, 2018, leaving the world a better place for having lived.
Our hearts and prayers go out to Lois, because Floyd was her best friend for nearly 60 years!!!  How does one say goodbye?  I will tell you that my life is richer for having known Floyd and Lois as neighbors and friends. 
Bye, Floyd.  I love you.
Posted on October 19, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
My girlfriend gave me some seeds....Castor beans.  
She told me they are effective in keeping the moles out of the garden.  She also said that her husband had to use a chain saw to remove one from their garden last year.  Hmmmm.  Do I really want to plant that?  Let me think:  NO!!!!
I didn't mean to plant it, but apparently I did.  Slam in the middle of the garden!!!!
Now for some interesting information about castor bean plants.  Castor beans were discovered in Egyptian tombs, looking a lot like polished bits of marble.  The Egyptians used castor oil as lamp oil, and an unguent which they drank with beer to purge their systems.  Some people still use castor oil as a laxative.  AAK!!!
I also read that castor oil is used for lubrication of airplane engines, and for hydraulic brake fluids.  That just sounds toxic.
So....We're NOT going to eat any part of this plant, but it is interesting to me that we haven't seen too many moles in the garden this year.  I have also seen castor bean plants in some local gardens.  Maybe it does work.
Posted on September 25, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
I love mountain mint but even I am tired of that picture.
Jon and I were at the Methodist church in Blairsville last week and I saw a Monarch butterfly floating around the zinnias. I only took one picture with my phone and LOOK what I got!!!!!!   How beautiful!
I hope you see butterflies everywhere you go.
Posted on August 22, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Maybe you've seen this along the trail, or on the roadside.  It looks like it's been dusted with baby powder.  It is Hoary Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum incanum.  That's a mouthful!  We just call it mountain mint.  
Mints are distinguished by their square stems, and opposite leaves.   They also display compact bunched flowers atop their leaves.  Enlarge the picture and you can see the bunches of lavender flowers.
Be sure to notice it;  and if you're up close, crush the flowers and leaves, and smell it.  It has a fresh, clean mint fragrance.  Delightful!
I hope you see some mountain mint in your travels.   
Posted on August 18, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
I was just fluffing around in the archives, and found this picture of one of our apple trees last August. It was in an article about foraging etiquette.  I said the apples weren’t quite ripe, but when they are you can come pick some. 
That was LAST year. This is THIS year, and I’m here to tell you that the squirrels have taken EVERY single apple!!!  We could see them up in the trees knocking down the apples. They would eat a little bit from each apple then go back for another one. The deer hung out waiting for their piece of the pie!!
So, apple season at our house is over.  No apple pie, no apple fritters, only apple cores that fed the critters.  
Oh well, it’s still apple season all across North Carolina, and Mercier Orchard sells great apples.  They’re more expensive than my free ones, but if we want apples this year, we’re going to have to pay for them. 
Maybe next year...
Posted on August 11, 2018 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
No, I couldn't.  I was hoping to cut and paste an article I wrote last August.  Couldn't do it that way, but you can access it through the archives. You can find the archives all the way at the bottom of this blog section.  Scroll down past July 15, and you'll see the archives.  All blog articles written are listed there.  Good to know, because there are lots of good articles in the archives.  Check it out!
This is Spotted touch-me-not, also known as Jewelweed.  It grows down by the creek, and is blooming right now.  
For my friends who are unable to search the site, go to the archives and open the post for August 9, 2017. You can read about Jewelweed, and Poison ivy. To learn more about Poison ivy, see the post for September 29, 2017.