Scenes from a NC Mountain House

Lordy-mercy, are ya’ll about to die from this heat wave we’ve got going on?  We are sweltering and if this isn’t dog days of summer, I don’t know what is.

No yardsales for me this weekend, but don’t worry, we’ll still have the party!

How’s your mamernem? 🙂  Mine’s just fine, thank you. 🙂  Did you interpret that one?

We spent the last 4 days up in Murphy, NC, where my parents have a 2nd home.  I’ve shared this with you before here and here, but it’s always worth talking about again.   If you’ve been with me on this journey before, you will know that we eat ourselves silly when we’re all together up in the mountains.  All those fresh veggies and just ripe blueberries are such a treat.  My sweet mama, at 82, still cooks up a storm and we all benefit from her cooking prowess, as you will see.

I am one blessed woman to have grown up with the parents I have.  They truly are one of a kind, precious parents and I’m so glad we still have them.  What a blessing they are to us! I took lots of pics this time, so I hope you don’t mind.  It was fun documenting our few days and playing around with my camera. I’ve got so many pics, I’ll have to do another post.  As much as I love decorating and DIY projects, I’m really glad that when I started this blog, I decided to add family, recipes, travel, etc. to the mix, because all of that is a big part of who I am too.

My parents have had this house for about 25 years and it’s been a fun retreat for our family.  We literally eat, sleep and relax on the porch when we’re here, with an occasional walk for good measure.  This year, the heat was the worst we can all remember and the house is not air conditioned, so it was a bit brutal.  But, it was fun once again to be together.

It’s certainly not a fancy place, but it’s homey and well loved. And I had fun playing camera bug, shooting lots of pretty scenery, so thank you for indulging me. 🙂 Stairs going across the creek go up to the house. And this pretty creek runs through the frontyard.  I love the rocks in this creek.  The mountain laurel have already bloomed or this might be a wild rhododendrun, not sure. They have both.  The veggies are plentiful.  My parents always grow an abundance of tomatoes and we bring home plenty.  This year it was Better Boys and big fat Romas. There will be salsa in our immediate future.
Sitting on the porch is a favorite past-time for my dad.  This swing is his favorite spot. I love the wild ferns growing on their bank behind the house. Pretty delicate lacy ferns.

Back down the stairs to the lower part of their property.  Crossing the tinkling creek again.  These huge blueberry bushes sit out in the sun in the open field. Soaking up the sun and rain and yielding plenty of blueberries this time of year.  We picked about 2 gallons to bring home, so I will be making use of that blueberry cookbook real soon. Dad had to add fencing around his garden a few years ago when the deer population got so huge.  They were eating him out of his garden, so that wouldn’t do.  This fence seems to do the trick. Dad and mom have raised a garden for as long as I can remember.  My sister and I took it for granted for so long, but we sure do enjoy the bounty.  And bounty it is.  It’s about 1/2 an acre here in NC and they have another smaller garden back home in Georgia too.  How they do it, I don’t know! The corn is just coming in and they will be putting up corn in August.  Back from picking some ears of corn for our supper. And while we’re at it, take a look at the crop of Roma tomatoes. They are beautiful and large, clustered on the vines.  Corn looking up to the blue sky. The silk says it’s ready to pick. My dad’s tractor equipment sitting in the field. And the tractor that makes that garden possible. At 83, my dad still loves his garden and I truly believe it keeps him and my mom young and in shape.  They are such hard workers, I could not keep up with them if I tried. Our 4 ears of Silver King corn ready for cooking. Along with fried okra.

Just for fun, I did a little 30 sec. video with my mama cooking okra, so you can get a good look at it.  For some reason, it is turned sideways, but you can still see what’s going on.  We were talking about corn on the cob when I turned on the camera and then you can see the fried okra. WE love fried okra!

She found a new recipe in Southern Living (June, I think) and tried it out.  She left out a couple of ingredients, but it was simple:  Cut up the okra and pour buttermilk over it.  Put out some cornmeal (with a little salt)  in a bowl and roll the okra in the cornmeal and fry it up in canola oil.  That’s it!  It was simple and delish and the buttermilk seemed to make it crispier.

Cooking in the Mountains from Rhoda on Vimeo.

My mother could have opened a restaurant.  Everyone loves her cooking!

Big fat Better Boy tomatoes ready for slicing. Here’s what mom does with the extras. Here’s our supper for the evening!  I know, you’re probably getting hungry about now. That’s what happens to us when we visit the mountains.  Eat, eat, eat.  All the time.  My gosh, how can you pass up food like this:  corn on the cobb, black eyed peas, fried okra, tomatoes, squash, and a little bit of meat.

This was my plate.   And no, I don’t eat like this all the time, just when I visit my mama and daddy.  Just can’t help myself, when the food is this good, you have to eat it.  We even had room for blueberry pie after all that.  Are you dying yet?  🙂

My mom has this pic hanging in the hallway.  Circa somewhere around 1988, my sister (back when she was still a brunette), niece (who’s about to turn 28 in Aug.), and me.  Back when big-hair ruled.  I didn’t have any problem pulling that one off.  If it comes back again, I’ll be in business. And since this is a yardsale party, I’ll share this little treasure from my family.  My dad’s dad, my grandpa, added the cowhide seat to this chair and my dad has 2 of them.  He said the squirrels got to this one, but he has another one just like it back at their Georgia house.  And he said I could have them both!  Now, where to put them? That’s the question.  I told him how popular this color is again right now and he just laughed.  They were probably painted this color back in the 1920’s, that’s how old they are.  The original cane seat wore out and his daddy added on the cowhide in the 30’s.  Now where in the world will I put 2 chairs like this??

Added to Sweet Shot Tuesdays with Darcy.


The Berry Bible giveaway winner is lucky #5 Gabi with and Eye.  Congrats, Gabi, I’ll send you an email on your win.

Attn:  Angela Corts in Alabama!  I got your email, but every time I reply, I get a failure notice, so I can’t get back to you.  If you see this, please leave another email address so that I can contact you.

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- Rhoda


  1. Hi Rhoda,
    It has been a while but I am finally able to join the party again! Thanks for hosting, this is always so much fun.
    Looks like you had a great trip, and such yummy food. Nothing is better than fresh food straight out of the garden.
    Enjoy your week.

  2. is it sad that my favorite of these is the picture from 1988- you really could pull off that big hair!! i am envious- mine would never stand up like that… if it ever does come back, i can’t wait to see you rock it again! maybe you should bring it back!

  3. Hi Rhoda! I grew up not too far from Murphy so I really enjoyed a peek into your parents’ mountain home! All of the veggies look so yummy! Nothing better than fresh okra right from the garden! Hello to your sweet mom and dad! Have a great week!…hugs…Debbie

  4. Thank you for sharing your time away with your parents. I do miss my mother’s cooking.

    Have a great week! La

  5. Cindy at Applestone Cottage says:

    This is such a nice post Rhoda!
    I loved seeing pics of your parents and he beautiful mountain home.
    I can’t believe that big garden they still keep!!!
    North Carolina is such a pretty state!
    Thanks for sharing this lovely post.

  6. I spent my summers with my grandparents in Sylva, NC up until I was 16! I miss that so much and your pics brought back so many memories. We always had a garden and picked fresh broccoli from the neighboring farm! Thanks for sharing !

  7. It looks so beautiful and relaxing there. The food looks delicious too. Thanks for hosting. Those chairs are great.

  8. oh, I so remember the big hair days, and now I need to find out where Murphy is…I bet you were only a few hours from me. NC mountains are SO beautiful. 🙂

  9. Thanks Rhoda for the trip to the mountains! Your dad sure has a beautiful garden. I’m quite jealous. You mom is adorable and I’m sure her cooking is delicious. Does she make fried green tomatoes too? I’m sure she must! I think if you don’t have room inside for those chair you could pot them up and put them in your garden. I have one that I made with screen and moss. They are such a lovely color!

  10. Oh Rhoda, your parents place in NC looks like a little piece of heaven! I know I would love it there….family time, natures beauty and a huge garden with tons of delicious, fresh food. It’s always the simple things that give us the most pleasure and best memories! AND I about swooned (if a northern gal can swoon), over that blueberry pie oozing with yum!

    the hair, LOL

  11. Rhoda, What a sweet post. You are so blessed to still have your parents, and for your folks to still be so healthy and busy, wow! I admire folks like them so much. I love the kind of food that you had there, I spent some time in Arkansas and Oklahoma, they eat like that, nothing in the world better than fried okra the way your mom makes it! Yes, I am now hungry for the kind of food that I haven’t had in a long time! Haha! Thanks for the glimpse into your parents life, I so enjoyed it.
    Hugs, Cindy S

  12. Hi Rhonda,
    I have really enjoyed reading your post. It really made me homesick for my Mom and Dad. They are gone now, but the memories still live on.

    Your parents are amazing. I agree that keeping busy and doing what they love is keeping them young. They are both very precious.

    Love those old chairs too, I think you’ll find a place for them.



  13. Made me want to head up to the mountains Rhoda! My parents live in Chatsworth Ga and several people I knew eloped to Murphy NC. You could get married there with no wait!!

  14. Rhoda, I love this post!! My mother has a second home in the NC mountains and we do many of the same things. This makes me want to go there. I love the mountain laurel/rhodedenron and the ferns. It seems like there is always a stream close-by. And like your mother, Mom has a beautiful vegetable garden and cans every year.

    Those pictures of your father shucking corn are so sweet. So many of those photos remind me of my family. Sittin’ on the front porch, we do it. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    BTW, the 80’s big hair, had it 🙂


  15. Rhoda, I enjoyed the mountain home pics. And those veggies reminded me of going to my aunt’s farm and picking fresh produce every day for the noon meal. I know you are loving those blue chairs. I can’t wait to see how you repair the seat in the once you showed us. I know you have a plan! Linda

  16. I love it when you visit your folks, Rhoda! Looks like you enjoyed and the food looks soooooo good. Great pictures!
    I didn’t need an interpreter.;-)

  17. Hi Rhoda, How wonderful you had this time to spend with your parents. Being a true Southern gal I wish I had been invited to dinner. This is my kind of meal!! I do love fried okra.
    Hugs, Sherry

  18. Becky in SC says:

    Oh Rhoda you are so very fortunate to have both your parents! Never, for one day, take them for granted. My mother (who also was an awsome cook) passed away in 2003 from colon cancer…at the very young age of 63.
    The pictures are fantastic!
    But, Oh My Goodness!! How do you cope with no air conditioning????

  19. Thank you so much for sharing. Your post reminds me of my Grandmothers place in the Blue Ridge mts. of Virginia. It is no longer in the family, but I have such fond memories of going there and helping in the garden and watching her can. Her garden fresh meals are a lasting memory!!!

  20. yum. I looovvvve fried okra. and I have to say it– that hair! you rocked it. your sister’s hair looks positively flat in comparison : )

  21. Loved this post! All of the food looks amazing and it brought back so many great memories of my summers spent in NC growing up. Nothing beats homegrown, southern food! Thanks for the okra recipe, I just bought some at the farmer’s market this weekend but haven’t fried it up yet. I’m going to try this recipe. And your parents are absolutely adorable!

  22. I love seeing pictures and hearing stories about your mama and daddy. They are too sweet. Loved the video of your mom. She’s just the cutest.

  23. That food looks so good!!! I will try that okra recipe!!! I love the picture of your mom and dad!!! They look way younger than what they are! I’m also lovin your big hair sista!!!!

    Off to go find something to eat!!!! haha!

  24. What a fantastic vacation. That garden is amazing and it looks like you ate well!!! I think you will be able to find some place for those amazing chairs! Thanks for hosting too!

  25. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! And I’m quite ready for Fall to arrive and usher out these unbelievably hot days.

  26. I adore eating fresh veggies from the garden! And I love that your mother ‘puts up’ what they produce. That’s a phrase that is used around our house from August until the end of October when the garden finally freezes. I can see why you like to spend time at their home. It looks very serene.

  27. Rhoda, thanks so much for taking us on this lovely visit at your parent’s place. That food you were having looks so good. Like the family dinners we have at my husband’s family get togethers. I did not grow up with good country cooking like that, but my husband grew up on a farm and he surely grew up with food like that. His dad worked hard in the garden too. Even after being burned from the waist down when the fire he started in the garden to burn it off got out of control and he didn’t realize he was on fire he still lived to be 96 and he was 86 when this horrible accident happened. I know that the hard life and hard work he endured helped him to be a very strong man and that is why he lived so long.

  28. jennifer says:

    I have a idea for the chairs I have several that the seat is gone to I sit a hanging basket in it take off the hanger and it is beautiful in a flower bed or on your deck !!!!

  29. Pam from S says:

    Hi Rhoda,
    I always enjoy your posts when you visit your parents place in N.C. You took some great pictures. The food looks great as always. I can’t wait to see what you do with the chairs. Glad your parents are still able to enjoy working in the garden. It is truly what helps to keep them going.

  30. Rhoda, Thanks for sharing your family visit with us! You’re getting better and better with your camera, too. So what ARE you gonna do with those two chairs?! Can’t wait to see…..
    🙂 Sue

  31. Rhoda, my Mom cooks like that too. YUM!! It looks delicious! We were in the NC mountains this weekend too, for a wedding, but we were over near Boone. Not as cool up there either, which is unusual for the mountains. Glad you enjoyed your trip to visit your folks. They are so precious!! I loved the pictures of your sweet Dad and Mom. I’m gonna try your Mom’s new okra recipe and see how I like it. Great pictures, Rhoda. Your parents have a lovely place and a beautiful garden. Love & blessings from NC!

  32. That is some garden! I enjoyed seeing all the wonderful photos. You could hang those chairs on a wall. They are dear!
    ~ Sarah

  33. Great photos, Rhoda. Some day I hope I can venture to North Carolina, a state I’ve only read about in great novels like Margaret Maron’s. She provides great descriptions but your photos brought so much beauty to life. Thank you.

  34. Rhoda,
    What a beautiful place to escape from the rat race! The garden there could have been my dad’s garden and the plate of yummy food could have been my mom’s cooking. They now are now both enjoying the bounty that heaven has. I miss them so much. They were good parents too.
    It is so wonderful that your sweet mom and dad are strong and healthy and that you guys love so much. There is nothing like a good family.

    I always preferred vacations to the Tenn/NC Smokies over the Florida beaches! This makes me want to make a reservation for a fall trip!

  35. How wonderful! The beautiful garden and yummy looking food so reminded me of spending time with my Grandparents in their great big garden and the food looks just like what my Gran would have made! You are blessed!

  36. Wanda P. says:

    Shhhhh don’t tell my mom BUT RHODA’S MOM IS THE BEST COOK IN THE WORLD!!!!! What I wouldn’t do for a big O’ plate of your mama’s cookin. Rhoda, I love it when you post about your mom and dad. I miss them.

  37. So very much to comment on this post. Such wonderful photos and a geat story behind it. My mom doesn’t cook, so I am envious of all of you well fed children. (She is 80, too late to change her now.) But she adores cookbooks! The fern closeup was one of my favorites. I have never seen corn silk that brilliant shade! I would find a use for it in my crafting.

    My camera went on a trip this weekend, so I have no new pictures to share. (I stayed home.)

  38. great post! I love family! It’s great to see your mom and dad doing what they love!
    thanks for hosting!

  39. The pictures you take at your parents’ house are always some of my favorites. They are so down home and comfortable and the food always looks scrumptious. Lucky you!

    That is some big hair, girl! Beautiful, but definitely BIG! haha

  40. What lovely memories you’ve captured. The spring looks so refreshing! If you’re gonna rock big hair in the future, I’m up for shoulder pads :).

  41. Looks like such a fun and relaxing time! A perfect summer weekend!

    E + J

  42. Boy all that food looks yummy!!! Your dad’s garden is really impressive. What a blessing to have that kind of bounty. I don’t know how you are doing with the heat down south though, here in New York it has been unbearable. We had two straight days of 98 degrees and then it cooled down to 95 degrees. Combined with the humidity YUCK!

    Thanks so much for hosting and I love the chairs, can’t wait to see what you end up doing with them!

    🙂 Michelle

  43. Sherrie @Conversation at Goodwill says:

    I loved taking your tour, I felt like I was at your family home. It felt so comforting. Thank you for sharing. Also as always thanks for the party.

  44. Just stumbled on your blog and I love it! We have family with a place at Lake Rabun so we’re up in that neck of the woods as often as possible. Love the chairs– perfect for a screen porch or a shabby chic accent in a bathroom :)… just my two cents! I’ll be back, for sure. 🙂

  45. Ah! We live in the NC mountains. Beautiful photos. I’m glad you had a nice stay!

  46. I love seeing the photos of real life, of people and of places. I think the photo of the fern is simply perfect.

  47. Just popping in to say hello, taking time away from blogging to enjoy our wonderful summer…..

    Loved the video of your Mamma, what a cutie. Makes me think of my grandparents they too lived out of their garden and lived well into their 90’s…..we too used to eat ourselves silly 🙂 Oh the tomato sauce my Mum (that’s what I called my grandmohter) would make out of their toms….YUMMY !!!!

    Glad to hear you are enjoying your porch…you did such a nice job out there !!

    My little girl is getting used to the heat in GA……it’s been brutal huh ??? Rhoda has this been an EXTRA hot year for you guys, wicked hot one for us ???

    All the best,
    xo Kathy 🙂

  48. Joyce Ackley says:

    Rhoda, what wonderful pictures! I know you must enjoy visiting with your parents in their mountain haven. My mama used to cook just like yours, and the food looks so good it makes my mouth water!

    I’m from the South, but I had a hard time interpreting your mamernem?

    Is it something like How’s your Ma and them? I give up. Please tell us. By the way, do you know what a hose pipe is? If I told you my shirt was on wrong sidouderds, would you know what I meant?
    Talk about Southern regional dialect – my Mother was country queen!

    • Hey, Joyce, you got it! Read Sherry’s comment below, that’s exactly what it encapsulates. We really don’t talk like that in my family, but I’m sure there are some country folks who do. We just like to make fun of our own region.

      I do know what a hose pipe is (outside hose), but we never said that growing up. I know they say in in SC, cause I’ve heard some of my friends from there say that. I’m not sure I’ve heard the sidouderds, though I sure know what it means. 🙂

      Southern-speak is a funny thing! 🙂

  49. My Mama & the rest of the family is just fine, thank you!. :o) That meal makes me so hungry…I love a summer veggie dinner. My favorite is with fried corn, green beans cooked with potatoes, fried okra, sliced tomatoes, yellow squash (fried or stewed) and corn bread. Fried, fried, fried. Oh, and chess pie or peach pie for dessert. YUMMMM!! Love your blog.
    ps your big hair was just great

  50. How I loved seeing your family retreat, the crops, the stream! Your Mother cooking, A True Southern Meal! I have not seen a hide covered chair in a long time! I do have them with out there seats, Grandpa always had them on the porch! Good ole days! Loved your post today! So Much!

  51. So hungry now!! Makes me miss my mama too.


  52. great outdoor post!!
    Love that blue chair. Magical picutre!


    barbara jean

  53. While I dont care for Okra it does bring back memories of my summers spent in Little Rock. You are so very lucky to still have your parents around. Mine are both gone way too soon. This post brought back lovely reminders of summers on the porch, family gathered around and delicious food. Enjoy it all.

  54. mamernem are fine,and yer’n? Lol- great story -reminds me of home!

  55. I love these mountain house pictures. My grandparents had a mountain house up until about a year ago that reminded me so much of yours. It was not at all fancy, and very homey and cozy, and very rustic. It was in Unicoi, Tenn. and when you went out the back door, you were in the Cherokee National Forest. I sure do miss that place! They sold it because it got to be just too much for them at their age. Lots of good memories, though!

  56. Vickie H. says:

    Rhoda, I love this post! Your parents’ home looks so warm and welcoming….and the food is to DIE for!!!!! Thanks for sharing that picture of you, your sister and your niece…..I am from Texas, honey, and LOVE BIG HAIR!!!

  57. Rhoda, I know you feel blessed to have such a wonderful family Being an ole’ southern girl myself there is nothing that beats mama’s southern cooking. In the south, every food is comfort food when mama cooks it!

  58. Thank you sooooo much for sharing your NC vacation with us! I am walking down memory lane!!! My Mom’s family has a small farm in south GA. (Hazelhurst to be exact) where she and 7 siblings were raised, and the summers I spent there are precious treasures to me. Our dinner plates looked exactly like that!!! All the veggies fresh picked with delicious tomatoes and a little meat!!! Fried okra, peas & butterbeans… it just doesn’t get any better than that!!!! I feel like a kindred spirit… as we vacation in the mountains ( Townsend area) every October and more if we can for the last 22 years!!! I fell in love and have not gotten over the Smokies yet!!!! (Hope I NEVER DO)!! Thank you so much for sharing those beautiful pics.. You made my day, Terri

    • Terri, thanks so much for leaving those notes! Nice to meet you and yes, it is a small world. I love my Southern family and we have a lot of roots in FL too.

  59. I love this party. Thank you for being such a faithful host!

  60. Wow – looks like there were alot of fond memories there. Thanks for sharing.

  61. kathy olson says:

    What a neat place to spend time with your parents. I just lost my dad (he was 80 yrs. old) . Enjoy every moment with your mom and dad.


  1. […] post is linked to Thrifty Treasures over at Southern Hospitality. And I’ll be sharing with you the finished product with the cool retro 3-colored light. I […]

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