Monday, July 31, 2017

Floydfest 2017

It's hard to believe Floydfest has been going on for 15 years!  We attended as venders the first few years when it was still small, but it has grown exponentially over the years. We went back a few times just as attendees, but honestly i found it too stressful with two small kids and so many people! So we rarely go.

This year i was approached by a friend in charge of the Children's Universe about volunteering. My kids are old enough now, that i'm okay leaving them at home unsupervised. Kenan is there working, but they are pretty much on their own. 

i agreed to help out at the CU on Saturday.  My job? Giant bubbles!! How fun is that?! The night before the festival, i made some new bubble wands and bought some dishsoap. 

The bubbles were a huge hit the kids (and a few of the adults). i was really impressed with how well the kids shared and took turns. i really only had a couple of kids that were not well behaved, the majority by far were very nice, polite and very well behaved. 

This little boy with the hat, was my buddy. He hung out with me almost the whole day making bubbles. When the little kids wanted to pop bubbles, he volunteered to make bubbles they could pop, so the other kids could make giant bubbles that floated away. (not everyone wanted their bubbles popped).  He was such a sweet and polite kid and a big help as well.

My official shift was from 12pm- 4pm. i got there a bit early, because i didn't know how long it would take to be shuttled in and get through the gates. It was actually very quick, they did a great job of getting folks in quickly.  So i worked (making bubbles) from 11:30 until almost 5pm. i started parking up around 4pm, but the kids kept coming back to make more bubbles, and they were so much fun i couldn't say no. So we continued until i ran out of bubble soap. 

As in Floydfest tradition it rained. It sprinkled a few times in the afternoon, but cleared up. Then a storm rolled in later in the day, and decided to stick around.  It started with just dark ominous clouds,  the rain didn't come until later.  It gave me a chance to explore the festival. 

This is the first time i've been to a big musical festival completely alone. In the past, i've always gone with a friend or my husband. i figured i'd run into local folks i knew and would have a chance to hang with someone, but i never did. It was just me alone and i loved it. i loved every minute of it. :) i felt as if i had an invisibility cloak on. 

i wandered all around the festival grounds. i checked out the food and checked out the vendors. i caught part of the Xavier Rudd set at the main stage and then put down a blanket and enjoyed the entire Rising Appalachia show.  

i spent a little time just hanging out. i can not tell you how nice it was to not have to worry about anyone but myself. i did what ever i wanted. Watched whatever show i wanted. Wandered when i wanted, sat down when i wanted. It was awesome. 

Floydfest had a butterfly theme this year, so they brought in a butterfly dome from Butterfly Dome Experience. i admit, i had some mixed feelings about this. As someone who raises monarchs small scale, i know how fragile they are. There seemed to be no rules within the dome and little children were  picking them up by their wings, pulling caterpillars off of the butterfly weed etc. Many of the butterflies were unable to fly, and i'm quite certain several of them looked infected with OE.  They were planning to release the butterflies on Monday, so that makes it especially concerning. 

i spent some time just sitting and observing the butterflies, but after watching a little girl drop and almost step on a tiny caterpillar repeatedly. i had to leave. The butterfly dome was a nice idea, but for someone who raises monarchs (small scale) it was also pretty cringe worthy. 

i had a great time watching Railroad Earth. They played a great show and i couldn't help but dance! i was right up front, dancing with everyone else. It was so much fun and a very needed release. 

After the Railroad earth set, i wandered around a big checking out the other stages. i briefly watched a sword swallower, but couldn't keep watching. Eek. i went over to the Hill Hollar stage and saw a bit of Tauk.   That's when the rain started. It wasn't a light sprinkle that felt like it would pass. It poured, and it was cold. i was really hoping to stay for the Mountain Jam that started at 10:15pm. It was about 10:08 when the rained really got going.  i figured i'd walk back to the shuttle and if the rain stopped before i got there i'd go back to the main stage for the show, if it was still raining i'd get on the shuttle and go home.

When i got to the shuttles it was still pouring, so i hoped on and headed back to my car.  My biggest stresser about going to the festival alone, was the fear that i wouldn't be able to find my car in the dark after the show. Somehow i totally lucked out and ended up parked almost right under the main light in the center of the parking lot. i had absolutely no problem finding my car, but slipped in the mud just a few feet from my car and went down hard. i had mud everywhere. After such a great evening i couldn't believe that's how i ended it!! 

i really did have a fantastic time, and i'm really hoping to come back next year as the official bubble lady.  :) Although as an introvert, i can only handle about one day. :) The energy is intense! If you've never been to Floydfest, check it out! It's truly an experience you don't want to miss. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Xquizite expandable garden hose- Flash Sale !

This week i'm working with #Xquizite  to review their expandable garden hose. i'll be posting a full review once it arrives, but i wanted to let you all know they are having a flash sale today only!  i really love using expandable hoses, they are so light weight and easier to handle than a regular hose. This one by Xquizite is 16 foot long, but expands to 50 ft!  

 If you visit the link below and subscribe to their email list you'll receive a coupon for 50% off! Sale is today only and goes from 9am until 9pm! Visit / to get your coupon!

*This is a sponsored post. i received a product and/or payment in exchange for my blog post. However, my opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Peep Peep Peep

Here we go again with these crazy chickens. First mama appeared with 8 new peeps a few weeks ago. i didn't even realize she was missing, and was totally surprised when she reappeared with babies. She has 8.

Smokey appeared a couple days later with only two little peeps. i knew Smokey was missing, but honestly thought she's been eaten. She's a tiny little thing, bantam Sizzle and she'd been setting in the raspberries the whole time.

Then mama #2 appeared with more peeps! That's almost 20 new birds! Yikes!  So i'm  going to try to re-home them, as i really want to focus on the marans, easter eggers and olive eggers. These wild chickens seem to evade predators and disease well, but they constantly hide eggs, tear up my gardens and go broody. i'm at the point now, where i really want to thin out the flock and stick with just a few. 

Earlier this spring we lost 4 of our older hens. My speckled Sussex, Java, Black Star and my sweet little Blackie hen (barnyard mix) We'd had them all for around 7 year. They were the last of the birds i'd had before the fire (still have one and a roo) so that made it a little extra hard.  

i'm getting to the point where i want to be able to travel without constantly worrying about all the critters, so i think having way less chickens will help. These wild ones just keep breeding, so it may be time for them to find another home.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Kayaking Adventures- New River

Over the weekend we decided to kayak on the New River in Radford, VA.  Despite it's name,  the New River is one of the five oldest rivers in the world. The New River flows backwards, from south to north. Only a handful of rivers in the world have this unique feature, including the Nile.  It is thought to be older than the mountains.

The New River is a very calm and slow float. It's more relaxing than some of the other rivers we've kayaked on. There are really no rapids or rough areas on the section we kayaked. It is almost all extremely shallow here too. 

i really enjoy the wildlife we see on the New River.  There are Great Blue Herons every where. 

We cross under a few bridges. i found it interesting that this tree was growing on the side of the pillar, out of a tiny crack. The water is calm enough that we can kayak in either direction, with very little work involved. Trying to paddle upstream on some of the other rivers we've kayaked is pretty much impossible. 

The river is really wide, and we passed a lot of other folks kayaking or tubing down it. Radford is a college town, so tubing down the river is very popular in the summer. 

i took so many pictures of Blue Herons. We saw so many of them, and they were not especially skittish being used to so many people always on the river. When we float the Little River or Big Reed island, we usually see at least one Heron, but they fly off before i even get my camera out. So it was really cool to see them and get pictures.

We several of these Cormorants up in the trees. i've seen these in Florida, but didn't realize they were also in Virginia. They are common around water, but i'm not sure how far north they go. 

i was thrilled to get a picture of this Green Heron. It's really hard to take a good picture from a moving kayak, and this guy was pretty skittish. i didn't know what he was and had to look him up when i got home. We also saw Kingfishers but it didn't get a photo. 

When we got to our ending place, we parked the kayaks and the kids went swimming while Kenan went back for his truck.  There is a little island here, and the water was less than 2 feet deep all the way across.

This Heron seemed to be following us, and he flew over to the island across from where i was standing and just watched us.  i'm really not sure how many herons we saw, or if it was just the same one following us down the River. The New River isn't as secluded as some of the other Rivers we've kayaked, but it's still a really nice float. i love all the unique birds and wildlife. We also saw a turtle, a snake, lots of fish, dragonflies and damselflies.  We did about a 3 hour float, but there are different places to put in and get out. Kenan wanted to do a 5 hour float, and i'm glad we didn't we were all pretty tired by the end of this one. Already looking forward to next weeks adventures!