We missed our five cats when we were on vacation, so fortunately for us an Orb-Weaver Spider was living outside the huge front window, and she filled in as our pet. Every evening at 7:15 she would spin a new web, and she’d work the night shift, waiting for bugs to visit her web. In the morning, at 5:45, when I was sitting in front of the window drinking my coffee, I’d watch her pull in her web, roll it up into a ball, and she’d drop it to the ground. She’d sun herself for a couple of hours, then crawl up to the corner of the outside windowsill and she wouldn’t appear again until 7:15 in the evening.

What an adorable, vintage dress I found on vacation, in a vintage shop in Asheville. Perfect condition, cute-as-can-be, fit perfectly and only $26.50.

Thank heavens this was my closet encounter with a bear this trip. Last time we visited the Smoky Mountains, a bear showed up on our back deck. With only a screen door between the bear and me, it was hopefully a once-in-a-life-time experience.

My husband’s brother took care of our cats while we were gone. Periodically he sent photos to us. This is Natie, our youngest. Cats can be aloof, but when we returned, no doubt about it, they missed us.

Our vintage butter keeper was broken a few weeks ago, so my husband and I decided that finding a new one, while we were on vacation, would be one of our missions. We love a good vintage hunt--and we found one. It’s perfect!

Scratch, scratch, scratch. Just like our cats, this mule loved a good head massage.

My husband and I always include a visit to Slyva, when we stay in the Smoky Mountains. What a picturesque climb up the long flight of steps to the library.