Highlands Waterfalls

I was planning to relax by a couple waterfalls over two days. Instead, I ended up doing a whirlwind tour of five falls in three hours, then I almost drowned. Hahaaaa- a fitting cap to this strange summer.

Glen Falls

Sequoyah Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

Dry Falls (the most stunning of these falls for sure)

Aaaand Bust Your Butt Falls

What a day! Jason had cracked a rib awhile ago, then his back got messed up. Jen had to take care of some things before heading up. Thunderstorms were predicted. I headed up early to get in Glen Falls before the rain. That waterfall is like something out of a fairytale. I took my time heading down to the bottom and dipped my toes in a freezing cold pool. The way back up was brutal! Jason and Jen drove up later, with Jason barely able to get out of the car. We met at the Will Henry Stevens covered bridge and took off up 64 to see Sequoyah Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Dry Falls and Bust Your Butt Falls. For the window of clear skies and Jason’s extraordinary pain, these were good falls to see. Very close together and you could just drive up to most of them. At Bust Your Butt, I slipped down a dry, but very steep rock into some surprisingly deep rushing water. There was a drowning-not-waving moment where Jason thought I’d jumped in and was goofing off, before he realized this dip was UNINTENTIONAL. I hilariously prioritized my phone and chucked it at him, then flailed wildly, gasping for air when my head was above water. A burly vet came down and tried to reach out to grab me, he then slipped on the same spot I had. Amidst the churning water, he was able to toss me up onto land like I weighed nothing (wow!) and I had a second of clear-headed freak strength where I was able to reach back for him, then up to Jen and strangers in a human chain where we were both pulled up onto a steady surface. I’m so thankful for the help of these strangers, and that I wasn’t alone on this trip. Everytime I watch suffering in the news, or a dire survival situation in movie/book fiction, I think to myself, ‘not worth the struggle. I’d rather die on the spot,’ but I have to admit, survival mode kicked in here. I was really shook up and had to calm down and dry out on Rabun beach before driving home.

Hausu Makeover

I got to participate in the Halloween art show at Cine in 2017 and decided to do Nobuhiko Obayashi’s psychedelic delight House (1977). It’s one of my all-time favorite movies- just wonderful and bonkers imagination on display. Re-watched recently and decided to re-do my original piece. Used a mish-mash of watercolor, colored pencils and glitter gel pens this time- tidied it up in photoshop. I sent it to Kris and his response was, “Looks like something I’d find in my daughter’s notebook that would make me concerned about her.” Hahaaa!

Corona Summer III

The only photo I have of James smiling

Sunset walk around Boulevard

My wild panther and marshmallow princess

Early Ben Burton Saturdays

More of Amber on Lake Lanier

More delicious Jason dinners. My favorite is the chicken n mushrooms dish. He makes THE BEST squash casserole in town – and I’ve tried quite a few here. Not pictured: chicken chili cheese dogs, fish burgers, pizza, poke, fast foooood

And Kris made me a seafood plate!

The Community Fridge is a thing of beauty

Family portrait! Still so glad to live here

My squishiest cat

At the garden with Kendall! He brought me a donut

Coconut Club FaceTime!

Cloudy sunrise over the pocket beach at Sandy Creek Park

I lost my mind seeing my old friend Ricky winning on Cash Cab!

I watched Death Wish 1-5 this month. Klon owned 2-4 and I just lent him 5 here. This is my summer of DEATH WISHES.

Kate and the littles in Lawrenceville! I’d never stopped there before. Def wanna go back to this park.

everywhere for a minute

Moonrise sunset in the n’hood

Sunny face

I really wanted some figs from this tree but the deer stripped every fig within reach!

Slow but steady runners

This is a heavy year. I often feel like the US is stuck in a terrible time loop. BUT this was also my summeriest summer in a long time. I am tan and freckled and more active than I’d usually be with it being so hot out. Thankful for everyone I got to see this month.

Lake Lanier

My least distanced weekend and the wildest party I have ever been to even before the pandemic (#borntobemild). I was thinking I’ve partied hard (for me) three times in the past year and all have been with my beautiful work wife, Amber. Hahaaa. She is infectiously fun and I feel so lucky to have had this weekend to celebrate her engagement!

Alaska Cruisin’

Spring 2009
My mom and Grandma had planned to take a cruise thru Alaska’s Inside Passage, but when my Grandma was unable to go, I ended up being gifted my favorite trip my mom and I have been on. She’s always gotten me to do things I wouldn’t have otherwise. For starters, I’d never been interested in going on a cruise but it was so NICE. A trip you don’t have to plan. We went ziplining over the Tongass Rainforest with bears and streams dotted beneath us; kayaking in a glacier carved lake which was really challenging to me but really beautiful; drinking at a fun, touristy gold rush saloon; watching the sunset as we drifted past mountains and waterfalls.

Bad Branch and Crow Creek Falls

Thanks to Jen’s Wander Guide, we were able to find these two falls less than five minutes from Minnehaha. These directions are so precise, even a lost-prone freak like myself couldn’t have messed them up. Bad Branch came first. It’s a partially man-made falls, at the site of an old quarry which is kinda cool to be wading around in those slippery ruins.

rainbow Jen

Crow Creek is maybe a mile down the road and I wish I could’ve taken a nap there. You can see the top of the falls, and wade around at the bottom in the creek. Very peaceful and I don’t think it gets much traffic.

Tiny view of one of the little lower falls from the road.

Minnehaha Falls

This waterfall is like a wedding cake in nature- sweet, luminous, multi-tiered. Dipped my feet in that COLD water and clumsily climbed up the right side, then VERY clumsily scuttled up the steep path on the left to the top of the falls. It’s right on Lake Rabun so you have a pretty views on the slow drive out there.

5 Star Films Watched in 2020, Part 2

More movies I’ve watched and rated 5 stars this year!

Rififi (1955): A noir jewel heist gone bad and probably the greatest heist movie I have ever seen. “The Stephanois” is manly, misogynistic, and devoted to honor among thieves. His safe cracking plan plays out as a brilliant, near-silent 28-minutes. It’s completely jaw-dropping and that isn’t even the height of the action!

Greener Grass (2019): A dark and delightful John Waters-y suburban satire. I am IN for the kitsch and I laughed til my stomach hurt. There seem to be sharp, smart notes on motherhood and competitive friendship but I was watching on a surface level for the absurdity, and that alone made me think it was genius. I wish Jocelyn DeBoer and Dawn Luebbe were my best friends. I can’t wait to see what they make next.

Death Line (1972): A true British horror gem with cannibals living in the tube station. Donald Pleasence is on fire as an obnoxious inspector, and there’s a great Christopher Lee appearance. The long panning shot of the subterranean lair is haunting as hell.

Shirley (2020): Shirley is a most wonderful witch. It’s refreshing to see a difficult and brilliant woman portrayed, rather than the unlikable-but-we’re-still-supposed-to-like-him brilliant man. The dynamic between Shirley and her husband made me cackle and made me cringe. This deserved a theatrical release but it was fitting to watch (remotely) with my Seattle pals, in the intimacy of my home.

Woman in the Dunes (1964): I watched this movie twice because I love it so much. An entomologist, capturing bugs in the Japanese desert, is tricked down into a house at the bottom of a sand pit. He soon realizes he is trapped there with a woman who has long since accepted a life of sand shoveling slavery. It’s a bonkers plot and the psychological torture inflicted on this guy is something else! Wild stuff.

Sleepwalkers (1992): Now one of my favorite King movies! I had so much fun with these incest werecat energy vampires. The cast and cameos are a treat for any horror fan and it has an outrageous death involving corn on the cob. It also has a movie theater setting with fake movie posters which I always love seeing. I will definitely name my next cat Clovis, which brings me to an important trigger warning: MANY dead cats.

Antiviral (2012): Brandon Cronenberg’s debut feature should please anyone who loves his dad’s earlier body horror movies. This is a freaky and grotesque version of our world where people line up to be injected with celebrities’ diseases, or order a piece of lab-made celebrity meat. James said he couldn’t decide if Caleb Landry Jones was very beautiful or very ugly and I can’t decide either but there could not have been a more fitting dude cast in this role. Malcolm McDowell also shows up for a minute to show off some celebrity skin.

Death Wish 3 (1985): I watched Death Wishes 1-4 and they all rule, but 3 (the only one I’d seen before) is the pinnacle of the franchise. It is a perfect, nutso one-man-army/vigilante movie. The excessive violence, booby traps and explosions brought me so much joy! There is no filler. Even the non-action has Charles Bronson on a date with his Public Defender (?!) saying flatly, “I like chicken,” and it is like modern day Shakespeare. Just ordered Death Wish 5 and can’t wait to see murder by cannoli!

Monkey Massacre Memorial

A haunting circle of monkey statues live in the forest at the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve. The story is that a circus train crashed, sending dozens of escaped monkeys into the woods. The local farmers had never seen monkeys before, and shot them all. I can’t find anything to say this is 100% factual but the anonymous artist created a great memorial with these concrete sculptures. If it is true, I hope the monkey spirits haunt the woods!