Admittedly, I've owed y'all another peek into the life and times of Mortana, Nino, Tigawiss and myself.
Moonset March 17th, 2022 from my trailer
March 25th, 2022 finds us 10 minutes south of the North Carolina border in Salem, SC; land of waterfalls and lakes, gorges, forests and incredible long distance views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This is an image of Whitewater Falls, 15 minutes north in NC. We live at the top of a plateau on 67 acres at 195 Whitewater Falls Road, Salem, SC 29676.
Not that I've had much time to explore the amazing state and national parks that literally surround me, I've been settling onto a piece of close to raw land that's owned by an awesome couple, Karyn and Howard Owen.
My new Dear friend Karyn Owen Squeezing lime into her margarita at Habaneros Mexican Grill, the closest restaurant to me.
I found Karyn and Howard while doing a Google search for all ranch, and equestrian sites throughout SC, figuring I might as well try wintering in the south for a change. This was a decision with great merit, as the weather has been rather perfect since I arrived.
My new friends weren't really planning to have a renter the moment I cold called, but as they're horse people and already had a pasture for Mortana, as well as power and electric here, and they were dreaming of creating a 'Cowboy Town' of tiny house vacation rentals at some point, this was a step in the right direction for them, finishing the details of the space for us in a matter of weeks.
Wrangling, like a wild gang of lizards on the loose, a good internet connection, septic connection, trailer balancing, water purification, and such has taken me some weeks. Thankfully Verizon sells mobile hotspots, and this one (a top of the line 5G version) is pretty darn fast with one caveat. Note this, as only ONE brilliant Verizon Tech even knew to do it, thank you Genius of a Woman! I'm afraid I don't recall her name, but she was one smart cookie! She suggested I plug my hotspot directly into my computer and select "USB connection" on the hotspot device at start up, or not; This detail isn't entirely important, but has more to do with charging the battery. If you plug into the computer USB port, it should automatically connect and will then act as a MODEM, thereby bypassing the oft-times negligible 'wireless' Wi-Fi connection. Sadly, the techs I called afterward weren't able to assist with the connection after a reboot, because they had never heard of doing so, so it took me a fair amount of playing around to establish when the hotspot is communicating as a modem with my computer. The way I confirm that it's properly connected is: there will be an icon in the bottom right corner of my computer of a little rectangular computer on a stand. If that icon isn't displaying, I'm still pulling from wireless Wi-Fi. The icon one normally sees when pulling from Wi-Fi is a echo-like series of waves that indicate sound... I guess.
All these survival details have taken weeks to iron out, and I'm pretty pleased to finally feel settled for the time being.
Many of you have asked me if I plan to stay in SC. The honest answer is that only the tail end of the Blue Ridge Mountains travels down into the upper northwest corner of this state. The elevation radically changes from Brevard, NC, at 2231 feet to around 1100 or less in Salem, SC, 50 minutes away
At this level, I'm in the foothills, not the mountains and I’ve discovered that I have a tendency to melt in high humidity. On days when it's only 75 or 80 degrees, I sometimes overheat when I'm moving around outside. Gone are the days of living on the bluff in Northern California when I prayed for 80-85 degree days! The trick to living in The South is 'the higher the elevation, the cooler the weather and diminished humidity levels'. I don't mind, you can call me a wimp and I'll admit it! Never in my life did I think I'd welcome air conditioning. Problem is it's too hot to play with Mortana in this heat, so during those heatwaves, which can last half the year or more, it's hard to be outside.
My sites are currently on the Brevard region of North Carolina...or somewhere back up the mountain.
Did you know that horses prefer cool coastal weather more than any other? They can readily get warm, but cooling off is a lot more difficult for them. (Another tidbit.. to keep a horse warm, you feed them more hay. Their hind gut becomes a radiator as it enzymatically breaks down the raw material from the hay, thereby creating heat! Unless a horse is quite old, or has a difficult time storing body fat, I don't believe in the use of blankets...especially in the relatively mild climates of California and the Southern States.
Mind you, these images are of Icelandic horses that seem perfectly at home in extreme temperatures...without blankets or barns! Granted, they have evolved with narrower wind pipes to keep their lungs from freezing, as well as a wonderful double layered coat. They're in significantly more severe climates that we see in the US, besides perhaps the furthest northern states.
I'm planning to take Mortana on a hiking-ride out to Lake Jocassee as soon as I get caught up here. We can walk right across the highway, a few hundred feet from her immense pasture to a little road that will lead us right there so I’m told! So excited!
Mortana loves her pasture and seems happy to see me whenever I get down to her. She enjoyed the horses and mules that were her neighbors while we lived in Leatherwood Mountains, but does well alone. And, as you can see in the opening image for this blog, she's pretty happy when I bring her up to hang out with me at the trailer in the mornings. Truly, my goal is to have a home where she can hang out with me all day and night, with an adjacent barn to my living space. I'd love a loft to sleep above her at night, to smell her and listen to her breathe and dream. We once went camping together and I awoke to what sounded like a smaller critter with a high voice having a conversation with a softly nickering Mortana. In fact it was she who voiced both sides! I'll never forget that fascinating night!
I'm enchanted with the sweet town, Brevard, NC and may seek out a home in the mountains around it. It's the most charming mountain town I've yet encountered in NC, with brick buildings, tree-lined streets, boutiques, crystal shops, a nice array of restaurants and fudge shop! The difficulty is that because it's got such an ideal climate and is so beautiful, anyone who knows anything wants to live there.
Developers bought up almost every inch of land around it and parked exclusive gated communities. The same is true of the Lakes region here in SC. There are either those who can afford to live in them, or the poor who serve them. Median income in Salem region is $17k a year! That's Median! Finding a little cabin on a 5 or 10 acre parcel will likely have to happen via word of mouth… and loving prayers to my angels, both of which I'm actively conversing with!
My upcoming events include a pop-up shop I've been invited to set up at a wonderful little wine and cheese store that includes all the delicacies I love! It will be at the Historic Toxaway Market, owned by Chris and Robin Pickel.
Their place is right on the main drag driving from Cashiers through Sapphire on the way to Brevard from the south and east; 15889 Rosman Hwy, Lake Toxaway, NC 28747.
I live about 40 to 50 minutes to the south west of this delightful market. The Pickels also own a cafe/coffee shop across the street, if any of you wish to come out to shop while sipping on coffee or licking ice cream!
These events will be from 11:00 to 3:00 on Friday afternoons, beginning April 15th, 2022. A seafood man will be selling his catch in vacuum packed bags at the same time. Hope some of you can join us! The Market is 828 553 8148.
Are you Interested in hosting an ObjectsOfBeauty Popup shop in your home, office or public venue? These are great fun and a wonderful addition to an event you may already be planning.. think Mother's Day, Wedding and Baby Showers, Family Reunions, Girlfriend Get-Togethers, Dinner Parties, Holiday, Office and Community Events. The host or hostess will receive a $100 credit toward any merchandise at ObjectsOfBeauty.com! I'll travel anywhere within 3 hours of Salem, SC. That includes Greenville SC, Asheville, Brevard, Winston Salem NC, northeastern GA and southeastern TN. Plan on inviting a minimum of 10 people to the party.
In the meantime, ObjectsOfBeauty will be launching a new Modern Jewelry Collection, and some incredible 'Old Stock' premium gems I know you'll love in the coming weeks!
Write or call me if inspired. Will love to hear from you!! Andrea 707 779 9707