Our view

Our view

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  I hope you have a fun and safe one.  I carved my pumpkin, first one done without my kids, and I have my pumpkin seeds drying.  The seeds are the reason I carve a pumpkin.  I have always loved pumpkin seeds and this is the first time in the last four years that I have had any, Yum!  After a busy day yesterday I finally got the time to get to the pumpkin.  I bought the pumpkin from Carver's last week end.  I did not make any fancy face or pumpkin carving.  Just a plain and simple face that I have been doing for years. After the pumpkin was done I placed a candle inside the pumpkin and burned it which made it festive in here. I know we will not have any trick or treaters but we will manage to have some Halloween fun here on the farm!  Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Home In Tennessee

We are back home in Tennessee and the good news is that we had an uneventful trip.  We did get everything loaded, from our storage unit, into the truck and we were on the road by 10:30.  We would of left earlier but we had to wait for the storage office to open up so we could cancel our unit.  Tim decided not to place a tarp over our things and luckily we did not need to because we were rain free.  Our trip home was a little longer only because we kept the speed down because of the load we had.  I will include a picture of the truck.  We only stopped twice on the way back; a gas/lunch break and a rest stop.  We pulled into our driveway at 7:00pm where we were welcomed by Shadow!  Lisa and George had dinner waiting too, it is nice to be home.  Thank you Lisa  and George for taking care of Shadow while we were gone.  It made the trip so much easier and we really do appreciate it!
The highlight of our trip was the fall colors in North Carolina.  It was beautiful and it has been over 20 years since I have seen colors like that in person, Wow! I tried to get pictures but the camera did not do the view justice.
Today we get to unpack the truck and put everything away either in the RV, the storage shed or the Crafty Cottage.  Woo Hoo, we will have some fun today!  I am anxiously awaiting to see all my dishes, pictures and photo albums that have been stored these last 4 years.  Hopefully I will put them away and not create a mess because I was too busy looking at everything.  Check back tomorrow to see what survived and what we may need to dispose of!  Also, the view here is getting colorful and hopefully I will get some nice pictures to share with you!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Productive Day In Jax

We started our day with breakfast at the hotel then headed out to pick up Carrie.  We then went to NAS Jacksonville to get our new IDs.  It turned out Tim did not have to get a new one just me.  When we pulled into the parking lot the lot was almost full. We did not have an appointment so we thought that it was going to take awhile.  So we signed in and as we entered the waiting room we were pleasantly surprised to see it was relatively empty, yay!  I waited about 5 minutes, my name was called and 10 minutes later we were done and I walked out with my new ID.  Wow and thanks NAS Jax IDs I thought 4 years ago was fast but this time it was too!  So, with the IDs done we headed up to our storage locker.  Do we know how to have a good time in Jax or what?
We have not been to the storage locker since last March and we knew it was full. We expected to be there all day so we got started pulling everything out to go through it one more time before packing it up and taking it to Tennessee.  As Tim pulled out the boxes and crates Carrie and I went through them and organizing them by keep, sell (Carrie will take care of that) and trash. We did eliminate a few things but took all the clothes and several stamps to Carrie's house to go through.  We were done by Noon which surprised us. We loaded up the truck with the sell and trash items and locked up the storage unit one last time.
We headed back to Middleburg, where things have changed greatly since we lived here, had lunch at Chick Fil-A then headed to Carrie's house.  I am proud to say that after going through the clothing and stamps that I am leaving 90% of it with Carrie.  For me to give up a stamp is a miracle.  We spent a nice day with Carrie eventhough we were working.  As we were going through things lots of memories and stories were shared.
We met Daniel after work and headed to La Nopalera for the best Mexican food ever!  La Nop is one of our favorite places to eat when we are home.  We thought the food at Loco fresh Mex in Gatlinburg was equal to La Nop but after having La Nop just a few days later we were wrong.  La Nop is still the best!  We did run into some friends at La Nop including the person who hired me at Toys R Us when we moved to Jacksonville 24 years ago.
I was hoping to get a chance to visit more friends but this was a short visit and we will catch them when I return in December.  Thanks Carrie for hanging out with us.  We sure did enjoy our time together even if we did not do much.  So it is time to say "so long" to the Jacksonville area.  We will we loading up our truck this morning and head back up to Tennessee.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hello Jacksonville

We have returned to where we started our last journey, Jacksonville, FL.  We left Jacksonville last March to begin our Grandparents 2 Be journey and now we have returned to our home town where we have lived and raised our kids for over 20 years.  On our drive to Jacksonville we had some beautiful views.  Going through the mountains of North Carolina the changing of the leaves is absolutely gorgeous.  I tried to take pictures but the pictures did not show how beautiful the mountains were covered in oranges, yellows and red hues.  As we traveled south the warmer the weather got and when we got to Jacksonville it was 88 degrees.  It is suppose to be that warm while we are here.  We are staying at Fairfield Inn and Suites where Carrie got us a nice room at a family discount.  We spent the rest of the day with Carrie and Daniel then had dinner with friends.
Today we have to go to NAS Jacksonville to renew our Military IDs then head up to our storage unit to clean out what we do not want to take up to Tennessee.  We are hoping to see more friends later on today.  It is good to be back home and to be with Carrie and Daniel again! Hello Jacksonville!

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Few Surprises!

In yesterday's blog I had posted that I came home to a big surprise so before I tell you what the surprise is let me tell you that the October Project is complete.  Our storage shed is built and it turned out great.  Tim and George put it in place on Saturday so when I got home from the festivals the shed was in place and it looks great. As I was about to go inside the shed I saw my surprises.  Tim had gone out and purchased a new washer, dryer and freezer.  Tim and George went shopping at Lowes where they came across a great deal on close out items.  With new models were coming in so the old ones had to go and so for the price of what the washer would have been at full retail we were able to get the washer, dryer and freezer.  Thanks Tim, I was not expecting any of these for a while.
The shed was a big project for Tim and I and it took both of us to put it together.  The roof was tough and it took a lot longer than we thought but we got it done in the two days we had planned for it.  The shed looks great and it is big.  We built a 10ft x 14ft barn roof shed that will give us plenty of space for the washer, dryer, freezer, storage and more.
So, with shed complete we are headed down to the Jacksonville area to clear out our storage unit and bring it back to the farm.  We have used this storage unit since we sold our home over four years ago so it will be nice to have our things with us and not have to pay the monthly fee.  While we are in the Jacksonville area we will be with Carrie and hopefully see some friends too.  So with the shed complete and the surprised announced all I can say is "here we come Jacksonville".

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Two More Fall Festivals!

Lisa and I went to two fall festivals yesterday.  We first drove to Del Rio, TN to go to Del Rio Days.  It was the 29th Annual Del Rio Days and also Cocke county's last fall fest for 2014.  Del Rio Days was held at the Jones Nature Center and featured live music, country crafts, food, fun and contests.  We did not spend too much time at Del Rio Days because we had seen most of the booths from the three other fall festivals we attended the last three weeks.  It was a good one we just got there early, there were no crowds yet, so we were able to see everything quicker.
After we left Del Rio Days we headed to Morristown, TN to attend Mountain Makins Festival.  It is the 39th annual fall festival in Morristown and was held at the Rose Center, an 1892 school that is now Morristown's cultural arts center and historical museum.  Mountain Makins is a week end for life festival celebrating the traditions of Appalachia through music, dance, fine arts, crafts, storytelling, demonstrations, children activities, food and more.  It was well attended and we payed an entrance fee to get in.  The demonstrations were interesting, the crafts were incredible and we got some Christmas shopping done!  Our neighbor, Cheryl, had a booth and does some incredible wood working. I bought a piece for someone for Christmas.  Hmm, I wonder who?
We had a great day and then Lisa and I came home, grabbed our laundry and headed to the launder mat  in Parrottsville.  We had put off the laundry long enough.  I know, what a way to end a fun filled day!  I did come home to a really nice surprise but you will have to wait and check back tomorrow to see what it was.  Thanks Lisa for a nice day together and thanks Tim and George for my surprise!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

We took a short road trip yesterday to Gatlinburg, TN. It was Tim's Birthday so instead of working at the farm we all took the day off and headed to Gatlinburg. George and Lisa joined the Birthday boy and I for the day. They had been to Gatlinburg several times. This was the second time I have been to Gatlinburg (TLC Tour) but this was Tim's first time. Lisa and I wanted to go to Gatlinburg to visit the Craftman"s Fall Festival going on at Gatlinburg's Convention Center. It was full of artisans and their beautiful work. We did some shopping but I cannot show you what we got because most of the items are Christmas presents. We did get a couple of really cute decorations for our mail boxes but you will just have to wait and see them when it is time to put them up. Lisa bought Thanksgiving and Christmas so your wait won't be too long to see one of them. After we left the Convention Center we walked around Gatlinburg; it is definately a tourist destination and there is a lot of things to do. We were on a mission, to find a place to eat. Since it was Tim's Birthday he chose to eat at Loco Burro Fresh Mex Cantina. We wanted to sit out on the patio or roof top but it was too long of a wait so we ate at one of the high tops instead. The restaurant was cutely decorated and the chips and salsa were good. We ordered some queso dip and that was really good. The food was good but the service was a little slow and we were in there during a quiet time. After lunch we walked around Gatlinburg and did some shopping. Gatlinburg is a mountain resort city in Sevier County, TN. It's nickname is "Gateway to the Smokey Mountains" because it borders the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg is surrounded by high mountain ridges; Le Conte and Sugarland Mountains to the south, Cove Mountain to the west, Big Ridge to the northeast and Grapeyard Ridge to the east. U.S. Route 441 is the major road running through town and was once the route the Cherokee and early settlers would follow from North Carolina to Tennessee. Gatlinburg was first settled by William Ogle in early 1801 but when he returned home to South Carolina to bring his family back he died of malaria in 1803. His wife and grown children, along with her brother, came to settle in the area in 1806. Some of their ancestors still live in the area today. Gatlinburg was named for Radford Gatlin in 1856 when he established a post office in his general store. Most of the residents hated Gatlin but the name of the town was never changed. Today Gatlinburg is a popular tourist destination and yesterday was no exception. It was busy but that did not stop us from having a good time there. There is still a lot of Gatlinburg we have not seen yet so we will be returning soon; especially during the Christmas season. The town gets decorated with lights and they are everywhere! Tim had a great birthday and I am glad we did something special for him. Today Lisa and I are going to visit our fourth and fifth fall festival. For the past three week ends we have gone to a fall fest but this week end there are two. Depending on how good they are we will either see one today and one tomorrow or both today. Check back and see which way we went!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Tim!!!

Today is Tim's Birthday and so I want to take this day to honor him. Tim and I have been together for over 32 years (we have been married 31 years) and he is the best husband, father, grandfather and friend. We have two beautiful daughters and one gorgeous granddaughter. We have shared so much together over the years and we still enjoy being together. Tim has a huge heart and will do almost anything to make sure his family is taken care of. He is also a good friend and if you are one of his friends you know what I mean. We have shared so many different journeys in our life together from the several different duty stations during Tim's military career to our current travels these past four years across this great country we live in. Now we are enjoying our current journey of living in eastern Tennessee and lving a rural life. We appreciate George and Lisa for giving us the opportunity to do so and these past couple of months Tim has been working so hard at making things as nice as it can be. I have my beautiful Crafty Cottage due to Tim and shortly (tomorrow) we will finish our storage shed. Thank you Tim for everything you do for me, our family and friends. I love you and wish you a very Happy Birthday! Today we are headed to Gatlinburg for a fun day in honor of Tim's Birthday. Tim has never been to Gatlinburg and there is a Craftman's show going on in Gatlinburg so we are going to go and enjoy today and celebrate Tim's Bithday! Happy Birthday Tim!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Storage Shed is Halfway Done

Tim did all of the pre work for the shed prior to us putting the walls up yesterday day. The instructions said once you get to the wall stage start early and plan on not stopping until the walls are up and support beams are in. The instructions were correct! Tim and I started at 9:00 am yesterday morning and by 6:00 pm we were done. Thank you George and Lisa for helping us out in the morning with the shed. Had they not have given us a hand Tim and I would of been out there for a couple more hours. We started with the four corners then the support bars for the sides then moved to putting up the walls. Around lunch time the power drill ran out of juice so we stopped and plugged it in to get a charge while we had lunch. After lunch, Tim and I worked the rest of the afternoon. The drill did not get fully charged so we had to do a lot of the afternoon work the old fashioned style - manually with a screwdriver. We finally got to a point where we could quit for the day and the storage shed is looking pretty good. Today we start the roof, which might be a little tricky, so we will see how that goes. Once again, once we start we cannot stop until the whole roof is completed. With the storage shed looking like it will be done today we are planning on traveling to Jacksonville on Monday to clear out our storage locker. Yay, I will have all of our things with us in one place! That hasn't happen since we sold our house in 2010! While we are in Jacksonville we will also have to get new military ID cards (mine is expiring soon and Tim's needs to be updated)and see our family and friends. We will only be there for a couple of days and while we are there Lisa and George have offered to take care of Shadow for us so he won't be making the trip with us. I hope we can get everything from the storage unit into the truck. If not I will have to make some decisions of what to get rid of. Time will tell! Check back tomorrow for progress on the storage shed and have a great day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We Have A Fireplace!

We went to Lowes and Walmart and found a wood burning stove/fireplace heater.  It is the perfect size for the RV and it makes the RV feel homier.  We had looked at something similar at Home Depot a few weeks ago but it was 85 degrees outside and it wasn't inviting enough to think about.  Now that it is beginning to get cooler (high 50's low 60's during the day and high 40's at night) we decided it might be time to get a little more serious.  Lowes did not have anything we were looking for but when we got to Walmart they had a huge selections of room heaters.  We were looking at towers, small heaters, etc but thought the "wood" burning stove would add a warm and cozy touch to the RV and it did.  I will post a couple of pictures of it.  So, while I am writing this blog I am sitting in front of the "fire", nice and warm, listening to a pack of coyotes howling.  We have heard them more and more lately.  We have seen a lot of deer and wild turkeys and have heard coyotes and owls.  Sometimes I can hear a cow making a screaming sound like it is getting killed or raped.  When this happens it is usually late at night or really early in the morning and can sometimes freak me out.  I guess it is just part of rural life!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Progress Continues

The October project - the building of our storage shed, continues. Tim has made some great progress and thank you George for helping Tim. The base and floor for the shed is complete. Tim spent the last couple of days building and insulating the floor and last night, fighting the dark, he completed attaching the metal floor frame to the floor base. The next step is to start assembling the rest of the shed. I will definately be involved with this because there is no way Tim can do it by himself. Lisa and George have offered to help which will be great because this next phase will be kind of like a barn raising. Tim said the instructions suggested that this next step should be started first thing as it will take all day to complete. So, will we have a barn raising today? It is a possibility. So far, Tim has done a great job on the shed; thanks Tim, it looks great! I have been busy finishing up some cards for my sister Pam's SAS. I finihed up the last of the cards yesterday. Have I mentioned how much I love my Crafty Cottage? The last couple of days my creativity has been flowing since I began working in my cottage. So, with that task complete I am ready to help Tim with whatever he needs me to do with the shed. Check back as see the progress!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The October Project Has Begun!

Our October project is building our Storage Shed. So far Tim has done all of the work on it with George helping him at times. Tim first had to dig out some of the hill so that the shed would fit in the area that it is going to be located. The shed will be used for storage but will also house our washer and dryer and freezer. So it will be right next to the RV. Tim did all the digging by hand using a pick axe and a shovel. Now that the space has been made he has started to put the floor frame together and then he decided to build a sub floor to give the shed more support and to provide a strong base for the appliances that wil be in the shed. We chose to build a metal storage shed due to cost and the space we could have in the shed. Yesterday Tim and George got the base floor built and seeing the floor makes it real as to how big the shed will be. I could put my Crafty Cottage inside the storage shed. We chose a barn roof for headroom and looks. Tim also read that we can buy an "attic kit" for the shed so we will be ordering that so we will have even more storage space. This week will be devoted to building the rest of the shed. The goal is to finish it up by the week end so we can go down to Jacksonville to clean out our storage unit down there next week. While in the Jacksonville area we also look forward to visiting family and friends. Check back for the progress of the October Project - the storage shed!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

On Cosby Festival

We went to the 18th Annual On Cosby Festival in Cosby, TN. It is the best fall festival that we have been to so far this year. It had lots of craft vendors, food vendors and live entertainment during the entire day. It is a three day fall festival located on Cosby Creek (On Cosby). It was set up in it's Visitor's Center and the area around it. There was plenty of parking with extra events going on during the festival. On Friday it was kids day with lots of rides and kid events going on. Saturday, the day we attended, there was a Car Show and a Beauty Pagent going on. Today, Sunday, there is a "Moonshine Run" and a Dog Show. The Car Show had some really nice cars in it and we had a great time looking at all the crafters booths. I did some more Christmas shopping and picked up some baked goods too. Lisa and George even found their dining room table and chairs there. The furniture crafter had some beautiful furniture and they had the perfect size dining table for Lisa and George's new house. It was a beautiful day, cool but sunny and I have to say that there are a lot of friendly people here in Tennessee. I really enjoyed seeing so many different crafts and I enjoyed chating with the artisians. We had a great time at On Cosby!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Crafty Cottage is Offically Open!

I moved all of my stamping and craft supplies into the Crafty Cottage. It took all day but it is done and now I can work and not worry about the RV getting messy. For four years, every time I stamped or crafted the RV would be a cluttered mess because of all the items that had to come out of the cabinets to craft with. Now I have my own craftroom again and I will be able to have everything available. I was able to use George and Lisa's Gator to move everything down to the cottage so that helped a lot; Thanks George and Lisa! It took me about 10 loads but it is all moved and the 12 cabinets that occuppied my stamping and craft items in the RV are now open. We now have lots of storage in the RV for things that are in our storage unit in Jacksonville that we will move up here once the storage shed is built. In the RV I still have four cabinets that have books and electronics in them and one craft cabinet that I am going to keep all of my cross stitch stuff in mostly because I work on that in the RV at night anyway. As I moved items I also tried to organize them. I know in the next couple of weeks I will be reorganizing things but that will be a never ending battle as I contiune to work on things. I know I do have more stuff in the storage unit in Jacksonville that will be brought into the cottage so I will be moving some things around for those but as for now, I am moved in and ready to get busy on making some cards and paper crafts! Today we are headed to "On Cosby" a Fall Festival in Cosby, TN. It is suppose to be one of the best ones in the area and the weather is suppose to be nice, cool but nice. We may even go to a pumpkin patch too! Check back and see what we did!

Friday, October 17, 2014

It's Moving Day!

Today I start moving my stamping and crafting supplies from the RV into the Crafty Cottage. Tim has worked really hard on getting the electricity set up correctly and making sure all the lights and outlets work so I can move into the cottage and have the light I need. There is still a couple of things that we need to get for the cottage. I think I have finally found the curtains for the windows and we will be buying a small TV to hang in the cottage too. I know it will take me a while to organize but the nice thing is I have the space and storage and we will finally have some storage back in the RV. Right now out of the 20 cabinets we have in the RV 12 of them have been devoted to my stamping and crafting supplies. Tim will finally get a cabinet of his own! Now that the rain looks like it might be done for a little while (it has been raining for a solid week) Tim and I can now begin building our new storage shed. While I am moving into the cottage Tim will be finishing the leveling of the ground where the storage shed will be built. If the weather holds for a while then we should be able to finish the shed by the end of next week. After the shed is set up Tim and I will be heading down to Jacksonville to clean out our storage unit and bring all of our stuff to the storage shed. Of course while we are in Jacksonville we will also be seeing family and friends too! Check back tomorrow for progress on moving day!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kingsport, TN

During our trip up to Johnson City we also visited Kingsport, TN. Kingsport is a city in Sullivan, Hawkins and Washington counties in Tennessee. It is the largest city in the Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Kingsport is also part of the Tri-Cities region. It is commonly included in what is known as the Mountain Empire which spans a portion of southwest Virginia and the Mountainous counties of Tennessee to the east. The name 'Kingsport" is a simplification of "King's Port", originally referring to the area on the Holston River known as the King's Boat Yard, the head of navigation for the Tennessee Valley. It was an area that was used as a staging area for pioneers heading to the west. During the Civil War, a battle was held in Kingsport where the Confederate Army held the Union Army at bay for two days. The Union Army then won the battle and several Confederate soldiers were taken as prisoner and sent to the Knoxville prison camp. One interesting fact that happened in Kingsport is still talked about today. The execution of Mary the Elephant. In September of 1916 Kingsport residents demanded the death of circus elephant Mary (an Asian elephant who performed in the Sparks World Famous Shows Circus) for the killing of city hotel worker Walter Eldridge who was hired the day before as an assistant elephant trainer by the circus. Eldridge was killed by Mary in Kingsport while he was taking her to a nearby pond. Mary was impounded by the local sheriff. Leaders of several nearby towns threatened not to allow the circus to visit if Mary was included. The circus owner, Charie Sparks, reluctantly decided that the only way to quickly resolve the situation was to hold a public execution. On the following day Mary was transported by rail to Erwin, TN where a crowd of over 2,500 people assembled in the Clinchfield Railroad yard to watch her hang from a railroad crane. In September, every year, this story is reported on and it was one of the first things that I had heard about Kingsport when we came to the area.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Johnson City, TN Part Two

Lisa and I headed back up to Johnson City yesterday to pick up some lights for her new house. While we were there we decided since we were up in Johnson City to take advantage of some stores that we like to shop, and don't have the opportunity to, and that the guys do not like too. We even had lunch at Panera, one of my favorite places to have lunch. We did have to fight the rain and wind all day but seeing the fall foilage, even in the rain, was still beautiful and worth getting rained on to take some pictures. Now part two - Johnson City's history. William Bean, traditionally recognized as Tenneessee's first settler, built a cabin in 1769 near Johnson City's location. He was a Trans-Appalachian pioneer, longhunter (an explorer and hunter who make expeditions into the American Frontier wilderness for as long as six months). Bean was with Daniel Boone's long hunters. His cabin became a stopping point for new frontier people. In the 1780s Col.John Tipton established a farm just outside of where Johnson City is now located. In 1788 Tipton and his men had an armed engagement with the forces led by John Sevier, leader of the Franklin Nation. Johnson City was founded in 1856 by Henry Johnson as a railroad station called Johnson's Depot and became a major hub for the southeast as three railway lines crossed in the downtown area. During the American Civil War Johnson City was briefly renamed to Haynesville, honoring a Confederate general, but was changed back to Johnson City in 1870. Johnson City became a booming town with railroads and commerce until the depression of 1893 which caused many railroad failures that resulted in a financial panic. The city began to grow again in 1901 when the mountain branch of the National Home for Disabled Veteran Soldiers was built. That was followed in 1911 when the Eastern Tennessee State Normal School was built across from the Veteran's home and is now known as Eastern Tennessee State University. In the 1920s, during prohibition, Johnson City had ties to the bootlegging activity in the Appalachian Mountains and was nicknamed "Little Chicago". Gang boss, Al Capone, was a part time resident of Johnson City because of most of th bootlegging in town was his. After prohibition, Johnson City continued to grow to what it is today. One intersting municipal code that is still active in Johnson City is called the Barney Fife Ordinance that empowers the city's police force to draft into involuntary service as many town's citizens as needed to aid police.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Johnson City, TN Part One

We took a drive to Johnson City, TN yesterday which is the 9th largest city in Tennessee and is located in three counties in Tennessee which are Carter, Sullivan and Washington counties with the majority of the city located in Washington county. It is ranked #14 as Best Small Place of Business Centers and ranked #5 in the 10 Least Expensive Cities For Living in the USA due to the low cost of living because of the affordable homes, below-average utilities, transportation and health care costs. It is part of the Johnson City Metropolitan Stats area that includs Carter, Unicol and Washington counties and makes up a componant of the Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol commonly known as the Tri-Cities region. Some notable people from Johnson City is Steve Spurrier, Head coach of the South Carolina University Gamecocks, Washington Redskins and Florida Gators, went to High School at Science Hill HS in Johnson City. The football field at the high school is named after him. Country singer Kenny Chesney and Actor Timothy Busfield are also from Johnson City. There are several NFL players and NASCAR drivers from Johnson City too. We went to Johnson City to shop because it has all the major big box stores. George and Lisa had to pick up more items for their new home so Tim and I decided to join them. It was a day long trip as we went to as many places as we could. We even had a late lunch at Carrabba's, a favorite Italian resturant whn we lived in Orange Park,FL. Tomorrow I will feature the history of Johnson City as Lisa and I head back to Johnson City again today!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rain, Wind And Football

Yesterday was almost a complere washout. It rained, it poured then it rained again. There were moments, literally moments when the rain quit. By the late afternoon the rain did quit for more than a few moments. Then the wind began to blow and is still blowing this morning. The way we are facing with the RV we are protected by trees but do you know what happens with windy conditions and the fall? Acorn bombs! We felt like we were in a war zone with the way the acorns were dropping and hitting the RV. It sounded like gunshots and/or someone knocking on the door. Needless to say Shadow was not too relaxed yesterday and jumped, in the beginning, constantly. As evening came Shadow seemed to relax a bit. The winds blew all night long and at times were strong enough to rock the RV a bit. Today, the rain is suppose to be gone until tonight but the windy conditions will continue. We are headed to Johnson City and Kingsport, TN. It is north of us and sits alomst on the border of Tennessee and Virginia. Tim and I have never been there before so it give us a chance to see more of north eastern Tennessee. Both cities are also higher up in mountains so I am hoping to get some good pictures of some fall foilage. Now, let's talk football. It was not a great week end for my teams. Saturday only one of my six teams won, two had byes, so I have to thank Oregon for winning their game. NIU, Florida and Missouri lost. South Carolina and NAU had byes. Now on to NFL Football; I did a little better there but won't know how I did with all of my teams until after tonight. The Bears WON!!! YAY!!! So did the Broncos and in fairness eventhough the Jaguars lost it was a good game. The Jags new Quarterback played very well and now if the rest of the team would follow his behavior the Jags could start winning some games. Right now they are 0-6. Not a good season as yet! The 49ers play tonight on Monday Night Football. Go 49ers! Check back tomorrow and see if I get some decent fall foilage pictures!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Parrottsville's Heritage Day

It was a rainy day yesterday and we were suppose to go to Parrotsville Heritage Day and we figured the event was probably canceled due to the rain. The rain finally stopped around noon so Lisa and I drove to Parrottsville and Heritage Day was going on. Last week we went to the Newport Harvest festival and it was okay but I was happily surprised at Heritage Day. There were a lot of vendors, almost all crafts, demonstations of what life was like when Parrottsville began, civial war soldiers, both North and South, live bands and some pretty good food vendors. Why was I surprised? Newport is a much bigger town than Parrottsville and so I thought it would be a bigger event but it wasn't. This was Parrottsville's 15th Annual Heritage Day and it was held at Parrott-Larue-Myers Park. The park sits between the main road in Parrottsville and a creek. It is very well laid out. The crafts were really nice. There was a lot of local artists at the event and I started my Christmas shopping for "someone". Lisa also did some Christmas shopping. We had lunch while we were there and it was really a good price. Lisa and I split a lunch which consisted of 2 hotdogs, fries and 2 sodas for $6.00. It was pretty good. I also bought a Pumpkin Roll for dessert after dinner last night and that was really good; I wish I had bought a second one. It was a great day and it was sunny while we were there but after we left the skies opened up again and it began to pour. In the last two weeks we have visited Newport's Harvest Festival and Parrottsville's Heritage Day. Next week we head to Cosby for their fall festival. Two fall fests down four to go! I love Fall!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The October Project

Every month, for the next few months Tim and I have a major projects planned. September was the Crafty Cottage and it took a little longer to finish up on it then we had planned but we still should be able to complete October's project in time. Our mission is to build the shed, go down to Jacksonville and clear out our storage unit and bring all the stuff up here. The Crafty Cottage is complete short of moving all my craft stuff in it but the electricity is on temporarily because the outlets are being rewired to meet the highest standards set. In the house that George and Lisa are building they were required to put in child resistent outlets and George wants us to have them in the Crafty Cottage just to on the safe side for the final electric inspection. Tim has the outlets out and when George's contracter comes he will put in the new outlets. I will then begin to move my stamping and craft supplies into the cottage. So now it is time to begin our October project which will be building a storage shed. Almost every fulltimer RVer has stuff in storage, due to limited space in the RV, and we do too. When we sold our home there were some things I just did not want to get rid of so we have had a storage unit, in Jacksonville, FL, for four years now. What is in our storage unit? Family scrapbooks and photos, Christmas, clothing, more craft supplies, tools and more. We knew at some point we would settle down and we would have room for the stuff in the stoage unit. To do so we need to build a storage shed. Our new storage shed will also house our washer and dryer and a freezer. So we bought a 10 foot by 14 foot storage shed that Tim and I will build together. Tim started clearing the ground yesterday and will continue to work on that today if weather permits. We have a busy day planned today, it is Heritage Days in Parrottsville, so we will be checking that out and then watch some College Football. Right now Tim is digging out and preparing the ground to build the storage shed. We chose a metal shed with a barn roof because it met our needs and our budget. When we lived in Florida we had built a metal storage shed for our well pump and it is still up today, 20 years later. So with that kind of success we think this shed will work out well for us. We are going to insulate the shed too. So now you know what our October project is: The Storage Shed and I hope you will follow along as we constuct it!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sausage and Bean Slow Cooker Dinner

I tried another new recipe in my Crock Pot and it was good. Lately, I have tried to change things up for meals and I have been searching for new recipes to make. There is one small factor that comes into play with new recipes. The ingredients that we will eat and the difficulty. Tim and I do not like seafood and are not big on a lot of veggies which makes it hard sometimes to fine a recipe will work. Well, I found one and it was good; Sausag and Bean slow cooker dinner. It is a hearty meal and would be excellent on cooler days. Try it, I think you will like it! Sausage and Bean Slow Cooker Dinner Ingredients: 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil (I used cannola oil) 1 pound sausage links (fresh not already cooked) 1 onion, chopped 12 oz beef stock 1 (14 oz) can of tomatos 2 Tablespoons tomato puree 1 Tablespoon hot sauce (optional) 4 carrots cut in chunks 1 (14 oz) can Navy Beans - drained 1 (14 oz) can of kidney beans or black beans (I used both) - drained Seasonings (I used season salt, cavendars, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder Instuctuions: 1. In a skillet heat oil and cook sausages until brown. 2. Add chopped onions to the cooked sausages until brown. 3. Remove sausages and cut into 1 1/4 inch pieces 4. Pour beef stock,tomatoes,seasonings and hot sauce into the cooked onion and bring to a simmer 5. In Slow Cooker place the sliceds of carrots on the bottom followed by the beans. 6. place link sausage pieces next 7. Pour the sauce from the skillet over the carrots, beans and links. 8. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours ( the longer the better) Serve with a salad and bread. It you try this recipe let me know what you think about it. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Furniture Is In

The Crafty Cottage is now ready to move all of my stamp and craft supplies in. Tim worked all day on building the shelves and hanging them and also converting a ribbon storage rack to a ribbon and punch storage area. Thanks Tim, it looks great and I will have lots of storage for all of my stamping and crafts supplies. I still need to get a TV and an antenna for the cottage and the electricity turned on. I will probably begin to move some supplies into the Crafty Cottage over the week end. While Tim was finishing up the cottage I spent the day working on some more items for my sister's SAS. After spending a lot of my time looking for certain supplies for finishing items for the cards I am ready to move into the cottage where I will have room for everything. I do want to stay organize as I move my supplies in so it will probably take longer than planned. My theory is move it in, put it away then go for some more. I am so pleased how the Crafty Cottage turned out and am ready to start working in there. I want to say a HUGE Thank You to Tim for all of the time and work he has put into making the cottag perfect for me. Thanks Tim, I love you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

And It Rained!

It has been a really long time since Tim and I have seen this much rain. Actually the last time we saw this much rain was in Jacksonville last winter. We were there for about six weeks and it rained most of the time we were there. Then we spent the spring and summer in dry California. It has been raining here at the farm since Monday afternoon. There have been a couple of short breaks in the rain but mostly it has been raining. Tim worked in the Crafty Cottage putting together my new desk and painting my workbench while I worked on some Christmas cards, yes I said Christmas cards, for my sister's SAS in November. The card samples need to be done early so supplies can be ordered in time to get things ready for her event. Last year, at this time, Pam and I were in full swing working on Christmas items for the Rubba Sister Fall Festival. This year the Rubba Sistas elected to do a Spring Fling instead of the Fall Fest. I have been working on Christmas items for over a month now anyway. Crafters are like retailers, they have to start the holidays early. I can't show you what I have been working on because it is for my sister's SAS but it took all day. After Tim was done and there was a break in the rain I went to see the desk and workbench and they look great. Thank you Tim for all of the work you have done, on your own, these last few days on the cottage. I really do appreciate it. Today I am going to continue my card making while Tim hangs up shelves and some other things for the cottage. I may even get electricity in the cottage soon. When that happens then I get to begin moving all of my craft stuff into it, YAY!!! I have posted some pictures of the furniture in the cottage. Everything I want in it is going to fit just perfectly. There is not going to be a lot of floor space with the furniture but it will be perfect for me!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Got My Workbench Then It Rained

We drove to Morristown to go to the Home Depot to get a workbench I saw that I wanted for the Crafty Cottage. When we got there they only had a the display left but were expecting more in about a week. We bought the display and got $10 off because of some little damages on it. I am going to paint it anyway so I was good with the stains and chips in the wood. We also picked up some brackets for shelves for the Crafty Cottage. We got it into the truck and while we were eating lunch it started to rain. No, it POURED! I have not seen rain and lightning or heard thunder like that in a long time. It poured all through lunch then rained into the afternoon. After lunch we went to Hobby Lobby where I picked up few things. By the time we got home the workbench was soaked so we let it dry under the awning them moved it into the Crafty Cottage. It is going to work our perfectly. It started to rain again shortly after we put the workbench in the cottage. It has not stopped since. It rained all night and is still raining this morning. So, it looks like a perfct day to work on some SAS samples for my sister. If the workbench is dry Tim is going to start painting it. All we have left is to put my desk together and put up some shelves and we will be ready to move my "stuff" in. Eventually we will be getting a sofa, TV and some other things to complete the cottage. I am hoping today will be a creative day at the farm. Check back and see!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Crafty Cottage Is Done!

After a month of working on the Crafty Cottage we have finished! We can now start bringing in the furniture and start setting up my craft room. The only thing left as far is the constuction side is waiting for the electric to get approved so the electricity can be turned on. Once that is complete I will begin moving my supplies in. This has been a great project for Tim and I to work on together. It was definately a joint effort and the results were great. The interior of the cottage is beautiful and I cannot wait to complete the move for several reasons. The first one being I will have my own space to have all of my "stuff" out and not have to figure out when I can do something or how much mess it will make. For the last four years I have had to contain my "mess" while working but once I am in the Crafty Cottage I will have use of everything I may need with out having to figure out where to put it. This could be dangerous because now I can have more than one project going on at a time. Yikes! The second important reason, I will be opening up a ton of storage space in the RV once my craft stuff in moved out! There is more reasons but I won't bore you with them now. Yesterday, as Tim was finishing up some touch up painting, I cleaned the four pieces of furniture that Lisa and George have donated to the Crafty Cottage. As mentioned several times, the cabin that George had purchased and took apart came fully furnished so he let me have a few pieces of furniture he did not want but would work for me in the cottage. The most important pieces is the two DVD storage units he gave me which will work perfectly for storing all of my Stampin Up stamp sets. After I cleaned and changed some things on the units Tim and I stacked the two units on top of eachother to create one big storage cabinet. It is perfect and the shelves that have a door on them will be a perfect place to put pictures of my beautiful Rory. I cleaned all the furniture with Murphy's Oil soap, great stuff, and them moved them into the cottage. Today we are headed to Morristown to the Home Depot to pick up a work bench that will be perfect for a working surface in the cottage. My desk will be a table I picked up at IKEA in San Diego before we left. I still have to get a few more items to complete the furniture needed but more on that later. I will try to include some before and after pictures today. My laptop decided to quit on me and so now I have to get my hard drive out of it and take it somewhere to get my files off of it. Any suggestions on where to go? As for the laptop, it is not worth fixing since it will cost the same as a new one. If I don't get the pictures today I will them posted tomorrow, check back!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Newport Harvest Festival

It was a chilly day, our first one in Tennessee this fall. Lisa and I attended the Newport Harvest Festival yesterday in downtown Newport. It is the 29th annual one and it is set up on the main drag in downtown Newport. There were crafts, lots of food, rides for the kiddies and the Miss Newport Pageant. I did see Miss Greeneville but they had not crowned Miss Newport yet. We walked around the entire festival and looked at all of the booths. We tried a cheese filled pretzel, it was okay, and one of the local churches were handing out freshly picked apples, they were good! We shook hands with the local politicians running for the various county offices and even received a carry all bag with some goodies in it. We even ran into some people we had just met at church last Sunday. After a couple of hours we left the festival. The Newport Harvest Festival is the first of many fall festivals in the next few week ends. Next week end is Parrottsville's festival then there will be Cosby's, Del Rio's and Morristown's. So for the next few week ends we know we will be doing at least one thing; visiting fall festivals. After we left the fall festival we went on a wild goose chase looking for a Pumpkin Patch that we have been curious about now since we got here. Along Highway 321 there is a sign that advertises a Pumpkin Patch and when I Googled it there was some information about only being open on week ends so we figured we would check it out. Well, I am sad to say that we drove miles out of our way for nothing. The farm is not doing a patch this year. I am not going to give up yet. With so many farms around this area one of them has to be doing some kind of a pumpkin patch. My search is on! Check back for the results!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Carver's Apple Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant

The day started with dark clouds and some rain and so we decided not to work in the cottage. Lisa and I went grocery shopping and ran errands. We did visit Carver's Apple Orchard. Now I have heard about this place from several people since I have been here in Tennessee so I was happy to go and check it out. The road signs leading to their entrance advertises apples, apple pies, pumkins, watermelon, etc. We turned in and followed the road to the parking lot where there was a big barn. The barn is full of produce, jams and jellies, honey,etc. Most of the produce is apples, they carry over 100 varieties, but there was also fresh tomatoes, varieties of squash and pumpkins, onions and potatoes. We looked around the barn and then got hungry so we had lunch at the Applehouse. The restaurant serves fresh apple cider and apple fritters with apple butter to every table. It was all really good. We ordered lunch and our table faced one of the apple orchards. The trees that we could see while we were eating were still full of apples. After lunch we went shopping and after sampling some apples I chose a bag of Ambrosia apples; so good! The produce prices were really good. Fresh large tomoatoes only a $1.00 a pound (at Walmart they were $1.97 a pound). I looked at all the jams and jellies, canned goods, honey and the basket shop. After we purchased our goodies we decided to get some fried apple pies for Tim and George. I am really glad I visited Carver's Apple Orchard and Applehouse Restaurant. Thanks Lisa for taking me there. If you are in the eastern Tennessee area March through December visit Carver's. Good produce, good prices and friendly people!

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Crafty Cottage Has Wood Floors!

Tim and I spent all morning, yesterday, laying the wood floor for the Crafty Cottage. We chose a laminate floor that is click and lock; no nails or glue necessary. We have never laid a wood floor before and when we put wood floors in our home we hired someone to do it. So, we read the instructions, double checked to make sure we had everything we needed and we got started. We laid the foam out of the floor then began with the floor. Thanks George for giving us a few tips. Had he not stopped by we would have set up the floor incorrectly. We re-read the directions and got busy. After the first few boards were laid we got into a pattern and the floor only took about an hour to put down. Because we had to notched the floor to go around the door jam and a couple of posts it took some time but we got it done and it looks GREAT! I like the lighter color of the floor which is helping keep the cottage light. After lunch George and Tim cut up the trim for the floor trim. All we have to do now is paint the trim and put it on and the cottage will be done, YAY! I have to get some more white paint today when I go grocery shopping so we will get busy, maybe this afternoon, painting. This week, thanks to my sister Pam, I received several packages in the mail. I am helping her with her November SAS and will be designing 5 of her 10 cards. She sent me the stamp sets and supplies I may need to do so; Thanks Pam! It is suppose to rain today which will make it a good time to begin working on some cards. Tomorrow we are attending our first local event; the Newport Harvest Festival. There will be crafts, food and entertainment. I have always enjoyed attending the Fall Festival in Orange Park so I am looking forward to attending Newports. I found out that for the next 6 weeks the surrounding towns are having the same festivals so for the next few week ends we will be busy attending each of them. I love Fall!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

We Got The Wood Flooring

We went to Lowes, again, and picked up the wood flooring for the Crafty Cottage. We have chosen a wood laminate that is a lock and click type of flooring so we do not have to use any nails or glue. I have never installed any kind of flooring, tile or wood, so today will be my first time. We also purchased a storage shed. We were pleasantly surprised when we went to look at the shed again and the price had been reduced by $80. So with our military discount and the new price the savings paid for our flooring, WooHoo!!! The storage shed is going to be our October project as the Crafty Cottage was the September project. I know it is October but the cottage is close to being finished. When we were in town we also decided to have breakfast at Cracker Barrel. It had been a while since we have been to one and it was good. It is very dangerous for me to walk into the gift shop. They have so many cute things for Rory and yesterday was no exception. Check back tomorrow for the progress and the pictures of the wood floor at the cottage!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pear Sauce

I did something I have never done before, I made homemade Pear Sauce. Pear Sauce is like applesauce but made with pears. Our friends Larry and Linda have a pear tree that produced a lot of pears and last Sunday that gave Lisa and I a bag to share. I was not sure what I was going to do with all the pairs because I only like pears, Tim does not. So I was looking through Pinterest and found a very easy recipe to make pear sauce. I told Lisa about it and we decided to put our pears together and make a batch. George and Lisa's pear tree did yeild a few pears that we added to the other pears. Well after we started peeling the pears, a sticky mess, we had peeled enough pears for two batches. The pears were really good, how do I know? We did some snacking while we were peeling. The recipe, I will post it at the bottom of this blog, was easy and only consisted of 5 ingredients not counting the pears. Now I have never made any kind of fruit sauce nor have I ever made jelly or jam but after this, I might do applesauce next. We cut up the pears into 1 inch cubes and placed them into a big pot. I then added the rest of the ingredients and cooked the pears until they were soft. This is the area trial and error happened. I followed the directions, cooked the pears for 30 minutes until soft stirrng occasionally. Well after 30 minutes the pears were still hard so I turned up the heat a bit and covered the pot with a lid and in 30 minutes they were finally soft. The smell of the ingredints was really good. It was like a cinnamon pear potpourri. After the pears cooled we put the mixture into a blender and blended for a minute or two. We let the pear sauce cool then placed it in some tupperware. We then made the second batch, in the 30 plus minutes, using my cooking directions. The pear sauce tastes so good. With the two batches we made we each got a container to freeze and a jar to eat. It was so simple and tasty that I want to try it with apples next. Try it, I think you will like it. Here is the recipe: Easy Pear Sauce Ingredients 8 -10 pears, cored, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces 1/4 cup water 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice ( I used bottled) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Directions 1. Combine pears and the rest of the ingredients in a large sauce pan or pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pears have softened, about 25-30 minutes. ( I covered the pears to aid in cooking) 2. Use an immgersion blender to process the pear sauce until smooth. If you prefer a chunky sauce use a potato masher. A blender or food processor can be used too. (I used a blender) 3. Once the pear sauce has cooled down, pour into glass or plastic containers. Cover and store in refrigerator. The pear sauce can be kept in the fridge for a week or it can be frozen too. There is no sugar in the pear sauce so it is very low in calories. Also good served as a topping with pancakes, waffles, toast or over ice cream. Try it!