Even though this is a slow time for me in regards to festivals, my life has been super busy.  I picked up some extra odd jobs to help me pay down some debt.  I’m super grateful for the opportunity to make some extra cash in my slow months, but it has not left me a lot of time for myself or family. If I don’t take time for self-care, I will be a bear to live with. Literally growling, stinking up the place, just miserable to be around.

I started getting stretched thin and found myself having to use a word that I am not often known to say, “no.” Y’all, how freeing has that word been?!?!? Saying yes to opportunities for decent paying work, but also setting some boundaries so that I have a little free time. I am so thankful I was able to arrange my schedule so that I could have the last two weekends off.  I spent them camping with my family – two of my favorite things!

We camped in the North Georgia Mountains.  I have fallen in love with the city of Clayton.  Its main drag has the cutest shops and eateries with the mountains as a backdrop.  It kinda reminds me of Denver, a city I very much loved living in.  When I say it reminds me of Denver, I’m just referring to the city in a mountain setting.  It has a ways to go to truly compete with Denver, but  it’s moving in the right direction.

I’d like to share some of the places we visited on our trip.

We visited the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum in North Carolina. It’s free to visit. If you’re into stones and minerals, it’s a pretty neat place to check out. They have stones from all 50 states as well as internationally.  My favorite part was the florescent room. It has black lights that show how different natural stones react under the florescence. It was really cool. Check out the photos from it.

Another neat part about the museum is that it’s in a historic jail.  They even have a cell that you can tour. It’s pretty small, but was capable of bunking up to 6 inmates and one toilet.

We ate and shopped at several of the places in historic downtown Clayton.  By far my favorite restaurant was Fortify Pi, a brick oven pizza joint. My favorite shop was Wander North Georgia. They sell an array of things, but what I was drawn to most were their t-shirts and stickers.  I got a cool new shirt and some stickers to go on my sewing machine case. I can’t wait to go back & visit their shop again; by that time they’ll be in their new, larger location a few doors down!

When we weren’t exploring downtown Clayton, we hung out at camp: playing cards, taking naps, reading, ya know total relaxation! The temps were great during the day. And even though it got below freezing at night, we were warm and snug with our electric blanket.

Our next North Georgia outing will involve a trip to a whiskey distillery and a small hike to a not so well known waterfall that a waitress told us about. Though we have an ongoing joke that it’s not really a waterfall, but a trap taking us to our untimely deaths.  We have trust issues and a warped sense of humor.  Hopefully we’ll live to tell you all about it.

‘Til next time,

~jen

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