Category: ramblings

everything else

Pick one up….

If you are in the Fayetteville NC area, be sure to pick up a free copy of ARRAY – it’s a magazine about the gems of Fayetteville, the well-known and not-so-well-known things to do and places of interest, including FOOD…


When I began this blog, it was as part of a writing project supported by a North Carolina Regional Arts Project Grant… With the grant successfully completed, I’m opting to make this my main writing blog and book site. I’ll…

Things keep changin’….

As life progresses, things change. Currently FINDING SHELLEY’S SHOES is out with beta readers, who will – I hope – lovingly give me feedback about what I need to keep, change, or throw out. While they are reading, I’m working…

More pictures!

The next day we traveled to Deal’s Gap to tackle the Tail of the Dragon. I highly recommend Deal’s Gap Motorcycle Resort – unless you emphasize resort (see previous post). The goal¬† here is to run the dragon, not luxuriate.…


Here are some of the photos taken by husband dkminnick at the Biltmore. You’re only allowed to take pictures outside, so the roof tour was especially helpful. You can see why a person might be affected by a fear of heights, especially if it sprung up unexpectedly. The last sequence shows how the mountains appear to ‘rise’ behind the house as you ascend the hill opposite (it leads to the Diana pavilion, which is now an event venue.)


One of our first rooftop views.


Gargoyle high atop the roof – yet still not at the highest point.

Eaves, copper-clad atop the windows and doors, roof itself of wire-tied slate.

Eaves, copper-clad atop the windows and doors, roof itself of wire-tied slate.


Gargoyle: these were hand-carved individually on site by Italian craftsmen


Gargoyle situated below a grotesque. Gargoyles are the grotesques used as drainpipes or spouts.


George Vanderbilt’s initials embossed on copper cladding, and gilded with gold.


Close-up of gargoyle and grotesque from another perspective.


Gargoyle awkwardly placed so as to look as if he’s stuck. These sort of features are actually referred to as ‘jokes’.


















'Touch the butt for luck,' the guide said. I touched the butt.

‘Touch the butt for luck,’ the guide said. I touched the butt.



Blue Ridge Mountains. The estate extended beyond this horizon at one point.


Flag adorning entrance to the Biltmore winery.


Oak barrels used in wine-making at Biltmore vineyards. Some are from France and made from much older trees than the others, which are made in America.

















Set up for our Red Wine and Chocolate tasting. We had a very learned guide!





To the left of this picture is the entrance, from which you turn right to approach the house. At the top of this hill, is the Diana pavilion. The three pictures of Biltmore House were taken at intervals while ascending the hill.


Beginning the ascent…















AT LAST: Day 1

[for the purposes of personal safety, these entries were not released until after we returned]   It is amazing how difficult it is to start a trip. Even when you have deadlines and arrival times.   We are late. Not…