About Leigh

I admit to having a spotted past. One of painting lots, then not painting at all. I have worked for an ad agency, a printing company as art director, and have done free-lance and faux finishing work in past years. I have also had my share of non-creative jobs for the sake of survival (and health insurance). Painting was always something I did when I had some spare time. Being a mother took up my most cherished years. Now with children grown, and grandchildren far away, I am taking up my paintbrush and pushing myself to get down to the studio on a regular basis. I'm loving this long awaited time, feeling a bit like I'm exploring who I am - at 60 it's about time. I find myself soaking in whatever subject I am painting at any moment, but I am a people person, so figurative painting is probably my favorite. Each part of life's journey has rewards and challenges. Today, my challenge is to put on canvas the life that I feel so strongly in my heart. Thank you for visiting my blog. Smiling, Leigh

Time Goes By

So much has changed since my last post. I have let down my faithful followers. I dare not promise to be better at posting out of the fear that I’ll fail (but, my heart says I’m going to give it a go and hope).

So, let’s hit the keyboard and see what I can come up with to entertain the masses.

First, let’s figuratively open up Barefootin’ for a breath of fresh air and you can see how she looks in 2016. Scarlett welcomes you as you arrive and climb down the stairs into the living area. The master stateroom (whoop, whoop) and bath are aft, the quest cabin (blue bedspread) and bath are forward.

That’s all well and good, but we all know that a boat is all about being outside, enjoying all the beauty and peacefulness the water has to offer. So let’s head back up and outside.

This is what a new boater would call the backporch…and, don’t tell Clint (or Jim), but I can’t remember the boating term myself…it’s not imperative to know these things to enjoy a boat. : )                      …and, hold that tummy in Leigh!

A few steps up and forward and we arrive in the helm  –  I couldn’t stand it, snuck off and looked up the term for the backporch, “cockpit” – okay, where was I? Right, we’re up here in Clint’s favorite spot.

My man loves his river trips, loves everyone hovering around…and, he doesn’t object to that feeling of being in charge either. : )

I’ll give you more updates on the next post…I was thinking how boring this post must be until I remembered what’s all over television, surely this is a nice break from listening to the ridiculous political rhetoric. Eeeeeck!

The sun’s gone down, tomorrow we head for Barefootin’ and a game of golf if weather permits. It’ll be fun to catch up with everyone on the dock. There will probably be a game, or many, of Mexican Train or Bananagrams. I’m talking high competition here. Plus lots of laughter sent out over the silent water as the sun falls below the distant hills. And lastly, after neighborly goodnights, climbing into our cozy bed and being lulled to sleep by the sounds of nature.

Sweet dreams!

 

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Say “Hello” to The New “Barefootin'”

Last year, as a chill filled the air and the last leaves were falling from the trees, Clint signed the papers finalizing the sale of our beloved Barefootin’. With our boating friends dispersed and far away, we found our boating enthusiasm waning in 2013. A sad affair. Clint continued to dream of that bigger boat with more great adventures, but even he wasn’t drawn to the water much last year. Me, I spent last year mourning the dispersement of our boat friends and dodging anything “boat-y.”

The one optimistic boating event did not come about until late fall, after our boat sold. Clint decided to attend a boat show in Chattanooga. With winter approaching, he wasn’t planning on a purchase, he was just keeping his dream alive. For me, the boat show meant sushi at Clint’s favorite spot in Chattanooga and a chance to be supportive of Clint’s undeterred boating dreams. So, off we went. The result, hallelujah, we found the first boat, on this “second-boat-go-round,” that we both truly liked…

Clint is not one to jump into much without long contemplation (he and I are so alike in that way…I hear you all snickering!). So we took notes about “the boat” and asked lots of questions. Then we were off to eat our sushi.

So, enough on the senseless details, when spring arrived, Clint bought that boat.

Below – Our new Barefootin‘ as she happily awaits our first trip together on April 9th.image

This coming Tuesday we board our new Barefootin‘, spending the night on board. We are thrilled that our boating friends, Jim and Sue, will be joining us. Wednesday morning, together, we will pull in our lines and head down the Tennessee River on a 95 mile trip to Goose Pond Colony Marina, Barefootin’s new home.  Jim has volunteered to be, as he calls it, the deck ape. Sue and I will be working out travel safety for our dogs, who always boat with us. There will be new dog dangers to find and remove or resolve on this trip, guaranteeing that Clint and I can relax on future trips, knowing the dogs are traveling safely too. Onboard for her first ever boat trip is our newest addition, Scarlett.

imageAbove – Last week, all three of the girls (Presley, Scarlett and Mackie, hidden in the back bed) relaxed aboard while we cleaned, unpacked, and organized the new Barefootin‘. The matching boat beds, with blankets and toys included, were just one of our purchases as we settle in to our new boat.

Below – Despite the seemingly silliness of it, Clint and I had no doubts when deciding on our new “home port.” After all, home is where the heart is, right?  Smiling.

Trip photos and news will soon follow.Meet the new Barefootin'

 

 

 

Ding, Ding, Ding!!!!

FOR SALE

2006 Sea Ray Sundancer 300DA    $85,000

100_2094

  • LOA – 33.6’
  • Twin Merc Cruiser 5.0’s, Generating 512 hp
  • Cruises at 26 mph at 3400 rpm’s

This Sundancer includes:

  • Generator
  • Charger/Converter
  • AC/Heater
  • Water Heater (6 Gal.)

Cabin (Below): Sleeps 4 w 2 Curtain Separated Sleeping Quarters/2 TV’s w Cable Connections & DVD players/Stereo System includes CD Players/XM/AM/FM/Galley w Sink/Stove/Refrigerator/Cabinets/Table/5’ Sitting Sofa/Separate Sitting Area w The 2nd TV/3 Electric Outlets/Head w Sink, Toilet, Shower and Med Cabinet/Closet/Cabinets

On Deck: Sleeps 2/Table/Sitting Area/Cabinets/Refrigerator/Stereo Speakers/GPS-Chart Plotter/Camper Top w Screen and Clear Plastic Zip Ups/Windshield Wipers

This boat is in excellent condition and has been very well maintained.  Call Clint at 931-759-7483 with any questions.

 

Can I Just Say “Farm For Sale!”

know, I know, I’m suppose to be talking “travel, sunshine, fun, hiking, friends, picnics, and so on.”  Well, I’m sticking with the topic but in a different setting.  I promise it’s just this once, but can you picture yourself living on an amazing farm with green rolling hills, grandkids wading in the creek searching for crawfish and salamanders?  A picnic in the sunshine up on top of the ridge where you can see forever and forever?  Saddling up one of the horses for a morning ride before friends arrive for a swim in the pool with drinks and dinner as you laugh and talk on the huge porch overlooking the fields?  Watching the fireflies rise as dusk settles in and as you tire, opening the french doors to let in the fresh spring air as you crawl into bed?

All this because we have a 100 acre farm that is absolutely amazing, but life has taken on a new direction for us and this beautiful place is waiting to bless a new family with all it holds.

I’m spilling all this because I know there is someone out there who is looking for our farm, their next home.  If YOU happen to know that person/persons, now you can tell them that they can contact us right here.  (Now how easy is that???)

I promise to be back on target with my next post, and thank you for letting me get this out of my system.  What would I do without you?

Smiling,

Leigh

A Painful Realization

“And, then the pain of realizing that everything about our boating changed last autumn, right before Clint winterized our sweet boat.”    – Leigh B. Butler, from yesterday’s blog Winterized Boredom

Yes, that realization was about to hit me right in the face yesterday morning as I went into my closet, reached past a summer shirt that brought the recall of so many wonderful adventures on Barefootin’ floating through my head.

BAM!!  I remembered.  I remembered with a great heaviness that when we clean up Barefootin’ this spring and ready her for new adventures, something huge will be missing.

See, a few years back, because of my Barefootin’ blog, we met 6 wonderful new friends.  Boating friends that became any-ole-time friends.  We spent weekends together on our boats, we spent weekends together at each others’ homes (spread out over 200 miles), we spent nights on each others’ boats.  We’ve  cooked and eaten breakfasts, lunches, and dinners together.  We’ve enjoyed many a happy hour together. We’ve  laughed, we’ve cried, and we’ve  laughed so hard that we cried. We’ve gone on boating adventures for days on end, we’ve swam, we’ve hiked.  We taken boating courses together (see Chattanooga Sail and Power Squadron). We have fallen in love with one another’s pets.  We have truly bonded.  We are friends for life.

But, you remember the BAM, right?  You ask, “So, why the BAM?”

Let me explain.  At the end of last summer the boating part of our lives began to change, not for one boat owner, but for all.  And, for all, in very different ways.  Out of our 5 boats (yes, one couple has 2), only 1 boat of the 5 remains where our friendships began.  Due to life changes, life dreams, and a bit of poor marina management (I am being kind here), we have all moved to new places.  Imagine took a 600 mile trip and has relocated to a new marina (the owners’ work and home sale demanding the new location), Fruition has taken on the adventure and dream of a lifetime and begun its journey (5,000 to 7,500 miles, depending on your chosen path) as “Loopers” (visit   American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association), Three Wire moved on up to a fancy marina in Chattanooga and Family Ties (their second boat) continues to hold down the fort at our old marina (someone has to keep us posted) and Barefootin’, the runt of the group, she has moved a bit closer to Chattanooga out of loyalty to friends (maybe I’ll explain that in another post…but, don’t hold your breath).

Our Beloved Boating Friends: Lower, Sue, Betsy, Laura, me - Top, Jim, Ken, Roger, and Clint

So, there is my pain laid out for all to see.  Yes, we’ll make new boating friends no doubt and, yes, life will go on.  But, as the 2012 boating season approaches, my heart aches at the sweet friends I will miss this year.  We will always figure out new ways to visit and laugh and cry together, no one can take that from us.  But, the days of waking early and climbing up on deck with that hot cup of coffee steaming and looking through the morning mist rising off the river, to see a beloved friend waving and lifting their cup to you across the way will be sorely missed.

Our happy group (minus Jim who's taking the photo) aboard Fruition - Clint, Roger, Sue, Laura, me, Betsy, and Ken

Winterized Boredom

Most boaters, and all of us boaters in Tennessee, know that when the leaves begin to turn orange, red, and gold, it’s time to think about winterizing the boat for the year (unless you are a livaboard, you lucky dog!).  I’m no expert on winterizing, I leave that to the Captain and I’m sure he’d prefer it stay that way.  One of those special times that I totally keep my nose out of his business and let him do it his way.  : )   —gee, am I really that bad??

So, as you can guess, me writing this little post in February, our Barefootin’ has been winterized now since around Thanksgiving.  Clint has gone to visit her on occasion, make sure the electric is working, she’s still afloat, to sweep a few leaves off her bow, you get the gist.  Me, I haven’t seen her in months.  And, for months, I can honestly say that I haven’t missed her, until this past week.

This past week suddenly had me pondering her, the sunshine and the wind blowing and forming my hair into webs of tangles.  I realized how I missed the trips to fun eating spots, the parks with long walking paths, swimming and splashing with Clint and the dogs.  And, then the pain of realizing that everything about our boating changed last autumn, right before Clint winterized our sweet boat.

…the Super Bowl is beginning…tomorrow I will explain my boating heartache.

November 2011 – We’re Still Here!

I know, I know, you thought we must have sold our boat, or my fingers were paralyzed due to some boating trauma, or I was just too devastated that I have yet to be nominated for a Pulitzer prize for my blogging.  Nope, it’s none of that.  Like most of you folks, we just get too busy, me with my painting, Clint with his golf/farm upkeep, and, of course, our amazing social life (ha).

So, this morning as I sit in a toasty corner with my afghan and little dog beside me, I’ll give you an update on our Barefootin’ times of warm weather, the river, friends, and exploring.  Grab a cup of hot tea, a warm throw and let’s enjoy some catching up together.

This year we pretty much feel like boating is “old hat,” quite a change from our first long trip down the Tennessee River that I shared with you way back when.  Now we dock, refuel, lock through, raft up, and explore the river with confidence.  We have had lots of experience now, plus we’ve enjoyed taking classes through our USPS squadron in Chattanooga.  (If you are into boating, you should definitely consider joining your area’s power squadron.  They offer wonderful courses on boating from safety to maintenance to piloting.  Plus, like us, you’ll make some new boating friends for life.)

I do want to say here that one can never be too confident on the water, unforeseen things can happen, so despite our experience, we still have a great respect for the water/boating/and the dangers the two can cause.

That said, I’ll move along to the fun of it all.  First, we’ve made some wonderful friends through our boating.  There have been great times on the water that have lead to great times on land too.  We’ve eaten too much, gotten too much sun, laughed until we hurt, maybe had a few too many happy hours, hiked, danced, talked and explored both land and “sea,” and had overnighters in both boats and homes.  I could go on and on, but I’ll give you a break.

We took 3 wonderful trips this year with our boating buddies, Jim and Sue.  You can see snippets of our trips in past blogs (though I admit – gee, I already hear Jim laughing – that I never seemed to finish blogging about a single trip – I’m a Squiggly, Jim, remember that.)  Here are a few photos of our adventures (one to Wheeler State Park – downstream, one to Watts Bar Lake, upstream, and one shorty to Island Cove for 3 days).

So, with the sharing of our 2011 Barefootin’ adventures in photos, I’m sure that I’ve convinced you that “We’re Still Here.”

Stay tuned for many more adventures.  (a little bird told me that Clint has his eyes on a bigger boat for 2012)