Our view

Our view

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Planting Potatoes

George and Lisa have been busy the past couple of days prepping and planting potatoes.  They have spent hours prepping the potatoes that after being prepped had to sit for a day before being planted.  They have been doing a great job with the planting and have completed phase one of the planting. Over the next six weeks we will be planting more then wait and watch them grow.  We are anxious to see all that has been done at the farm when we get back.  Thanks George and Lisa for all your hard work.  I am sure you will reap what you have sewn.

Friday, April 29, 2016

My Mom's Meatballs

I know everyone has their favorite meatballs and mine are the ones I make using my mom's recipe.  It is a super easy recipe and it is good.  I am not sure where she got the recipe and since I don't know the origin I simply call it my mom's meatballs.  The best part of the recipe is the milk gravy I  make with the drippings.  I like to serve my meatballs with mashed potatoes and corn as a side dish.  It is a good combination.
1 -2 pounds of ground beef
I egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon of minced onion
1 tablespoon of shortening or olive oil
2 Tablespoons of flour
1-2 cups of milk
Place ground beef in a large bowl and add the egg, salt, pepper and minced onion- mix it together.
In a pan pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and heat it up.
Roll the ground beef into 2 inch balls and place them in the skillet.  Cook until meat is done.  Remove the meatballs and save 2 tablespoons of grease and add 2 tablespoons of flour to the grease and mix until creating a rue. Add milk a little at a time and cook until it thickens.  This will serve 4 to 6 people.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Planting Day-Day 2

George and Lisa had another full day and got four beds planted with a variety of fruit and veggies (the fruit is tomatos) cucumbers. Squash, peas, orka, peppers, carrots, etc have all been planted.  So in a couple of months we will be sharing pictures of the crops and what we do with them.  I am sure Lisa is already scoping out new recipes..  Although, the recipes she used last summer were pretty good.  Good job George and Lisa!  We will be back next week to help!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

It's Planting Day

The planting has begun for the orchard and the first thing planted was Sweet Corn.  Unfortunately Tim and I are not there to help but we will be next week.  George has done a great job in preparing the beds to be planted and Lisa spent a good portion of the morning separating the sweet corn seeds into four equal groupings.  The plan is to plant four rows of corn at four different times.  Yesterday, George and Lisa planted the first group and for the next six weeks another row will be planted.  This plan should make harvesting a lot easier and not get overwhelmed.  Nice job Lisa and George!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Rediscovering Toys

Rediscovering toys was what Rory did yesterday when she got home from school and saw toys she has not seen for over 9 months.  She was like a kid in a toy store because the unit that she discovered was a toy store; at least to her.  She was pulling out toys and getting all excited and then she would find more and more the MORE she looked.  It was so much fun to watch her and her reactions.  
Meanwhile back at the farm, George was tilling some more beds getting them ready for planting in May.  Lisa went into Newport and met our friends Larry and Linda for lunch at the best Mexican restaurant in Newport.  I guess it was a good day for all.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Florida Pines Can Bend!

I know all pine trees can bend especially with the wind but there is a particular pine tree located in our old neighborhood in Florida that has not only bent but has tied itself in a knot and is still a live tree.  We have driven past this tree everyday and I did not really take notice of it until this past Saturday.  It is very cool looking and very much alive.  I don't know how it got that way but I am assuming that the owner of the tree, when the tree was a sapling, tied it in a knot and looking at the size of the tree it has been that way for years.  It really does make a nice lawn ornament!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Late Entry

This is a very late blog but our morning got started early with more moving prep.  Yesterday we spent the day cleaning the new house, installing ceiling fans and being with Rory.  The later two were Tim's and my johs.  It was a long and trying day but it was a good day.  Well, that is all I have time with for now; I am being called by Jen to get back to work!  Happy Sunday!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

New Life At The Farm

Lisa let me know that there is some new residences at the farm.  The blue birds that were carefully watching over their nest in one of the bird houses in the bird sanctuary has had babies.  Lisa saw them yesterday and will try to get pictures when the opportunity arises.  So congratulations to the blue birds!  With the nests we have seen around the farm I am sure we will see more and more babies!  After all, it is Spring. It did rain most of the day at the farm which is good, we needed the rain.  Lisa took a picture to share with you; another beautiful view!
I would like to say Congratulations to my daughter Jenny, son in law Nate and Rory.  They closed on their brand new house they had built yesterday!  We are so happy for you all! We had a celebratory dinner of Pizza last night in the new house with a few friends and family and today we begin work on making the house a home. Another good day at the farm and in Florida!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day and it is the 45th year of celebrating Earth Day.  It was started in 1970 by two people; a conservationist from Washington State and a Senator from Wisconsin.  Who would of guessed  we would be celebrating Earth Day 45 years later.  So what is the best way to celebrate Earth Day?  Plant wild flowers or trees, conserve water, spend time outdoors, or take a walk in the woods.  Everyone can celebrate some way.  I know George has been busy tilling the garden beds so he has already begun celebrating Earth Day at the farm.  We will be spending some time outdoors today and soon we will be planting flowers and hopefully attract butterflies which is another great way to celebrate Earrh Day.  So happy Earth Day to all!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Fire Is Out

When we left Parrottsville the forest fire in Cocke county was still burning and the smoke was so thick that it was coming through the air vent in the bathroom.  When we left I snapped a couple of pictures.  Today  we found out the fire is out and the smoke has finally cleared and no smell of smoke existed.  That is good news.  I don't know how many acres burned but I am glad it is out and our mountain views are no longer filled with smoke.  Way to go to the fire crews who worked to put it out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Getting Ready To Plant

It is getting close to planting time and George has been working hard on getting the beds ready.  He spent most of the week end picking up horse manure from a local horse ranch and shoveling it into the beds.  Yesterday he tilled the beds to help fertilize the soil.  When we get back to the farm in May  we will be helping with the planting.  This year we will be growing most of the same crops as last year except we are scaling back on some like zucchini and planting more like corn.  The fruit trees are budding nicely so hopefully we will get some fruit.  Time will tell. Now if it would only rain a bit.  March was the driest March ever for Tennessee.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Bird Sanctuary

While we are away in Florida helping our kids move onto their new home Lisa and George will be filling me in on what is going on at the farm.  Today's feature is the bird sanctuary.  Lisa and George actually set it up last Spring but Lisa has added more feeders because it is becoming a very popular place for birds to come and visit and eat. Von her bird houses she has some nests.  We think one is a bluebird nest because there is always a bluebird hanging out. Lisa has some pretty neat bird feeders and of course a bird sanctuary would not be complete without a bird bath and some hummingbird feeders.  Great job Lisa and George.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Some Excitement For A Sunday

There was excitement on a Sunday both here on the farm and about 25 miles away from the farm.  We woke up to what we thought was fog over the mountains aka the Smoky Mountains but when we walked outside we could smell smoke really bad which meant there was a fire somewhere.  At first we could not tell which direction the smoke was coming from but as the wind shifted it allowed us to see just where the fire was.  It was a bush fire about 25 miles away on the Tennessee/North Carolina border but in Cocke county, our county.  It started on Saturday night and continued to burn into last night, I do not have an update as to if it is still burning, but it smells like it is outside. Tim took a picture of the smoke from the fire and what it looked like from our deck.
We got to experience some more TMT (Tennessee Mountain Time) at the farm yesterday.  The other day I shared what TMT was and how we learned about it and so yesterday when we were told the tow truck driver would be here in a little bit, that was after 5 days of waiting, we knew it would be a couple more hours or so and it was.  While we were waiting George got the lawn cut, Tim weed eated  behind the RV, I ate lunch and did laundry and Lisa started dinner prep for last night's meal.  Thanks for dinner Lisa and George! So we were all productive during our wait so I guess you could say TMT  worked to our advantage except for one thing; we were always listening and watching for the tow truck.  It eventually got here, hooked up the dump truck and towed it away to get repaired.
Today we head south to Florida for a couple of weeks to help our kids, Jenny, Nate and our Rory, move into their brand new house that they had built for them.  It will be a busy but exciting time!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Garage Is Done!

Tim and George have finished the garage exterior and it looks great!  All the finishing touches have been completed and they did a great job.  The cedar shingles look great and really add to the great look.  It was a beautiful day so we decide to grill out and enjoy the Francsico's deck that is attached to the garage.  If you look at the picutres you can see what a great area the "western" deck is.  The "eastern" deck is not quite finished but I will share when it is.  Thanks George and Lisa for a wonderful afternoon and evening on the deck.  It is a great place to hang out!
Today Tim and I will be packing because tomorrow we head down to Florida to help Jenny, Nate and Rory move into their new house.  I will be blogging on both this blog and my Travels With Ruth blog for the next coup,e of weeks.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Walk In The Park

Spring has come; I saw my first Robin and I remember as a child that once you saw a Robin it was Spring.  Yesterday Lisa and I decided to change up our walk a bit and walk the sidewalk at the Parrottsville park.  It has a paved sidewalk that circles the park and 4 3/4 laps equal a mile.  It is a nice walk so it was nice to see some different scenery even if we got to see it 5 times.  The trees in the park has now changed from the floral buds to leaves.  It give the park a different kind of look but still very pretty.  We will be returning to the park every once in awhile to walk.  We were not alone in our walk; there were a few others doing the same thing.  It was a sunny day with a slight wind that kept us cool as we walked.  Afterwards we ran a few errands then had lunch in town.  The rest of the day I spent in the Crafty Cottage working on a door prize.  It was a good day!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Hawaiian Chicken

It has been a while since I have shared a recipe and I have a really easy one to share. If you want a really easy dinner using chicken then I have one that tastes great too! It is Hawaiian Chicken.  Best part, you make it in a crock pot.  There is only three ingredients which makes it even better.  Tim and I have been enjoying it a couple of times because it makes a lot.  I serve it over rice and with a veggie.  All I can say is YUM!
Here is the recipe:
4 - 6 boneless Chicken Breasts (thighs can be used too)
8 ounce can of crushed Pineapple
16 ounce bottle of BBQ sauce (any kind - I used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ sauce)
1. Place chicken in the slow cooker
2. Combine pineapple and bbq sauce in a bowl and pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.
3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. (I cooked it on low)
4. Shred the chicken and place it back in sauce and enjoy!
It does make a lot and using 6 breasts will serve 6 easily.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2016


TMT = Tennessee Mountain Time and yesterday we found out exactly what time Tennessee Mountain Time is.  TMT is whenever a repair person, service person, mail person, etc. decide to show up.  The amount of time can be 30 seconds to  3 days.  For instance, the dump truck that George has decided to blow it's brake cylinder.  Since Tim nor George have tools large enough to work on it George talked to a repair person around 9:00 am yesterday morning.  When he was done the repair person said he would be at the farm in a little bit.  So, while Lisa and I headed for Morristown, I had an appointment with my thyroid Doctor, Tim and George sat on the deck waiting for the repair person to show up.  We got back from Morristown around 2:30 pm and they were still waiting.  The "I will be there in a little bit" actually was 9 1/2 hours later.  He came, it just took a while.  So, if you are ever in Tennessee and someone says they will be there in a little bit...plan on waiting a while.  After all, around here we are TMT - Tennessee Mountain Time!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Dixie Darlin

We took a little trip to Knoxville and then to Pigeon Forge.  We went to Knoxville for my follow up appointment with my surgeon who removerd my parathyroid.  I am healing well in the neck but my voice could take up to 9 months to recover if it will recover.  Time will tell.
After the appointment we headed to Pigeon Forge to do a little shopping.  George and Lisa wanted to get some shoes and they were told by our neighbors of a store that had good deals.  It was in a Tangers mall so we did a little window shopping too!
After that we drove to the Dixie Darlin, a needle works store.  I have seen their advertisement in a cross stitch magazine I read and I have been wanting to go check it out.  I am glad I did; what a great store.  My other hobby, besides paper crafting, is cross stitch.  It is not a popular craft right now so finding new things is getting tougher especially in the craft stores.  I have found my cross stitch Mecca in Pigeon Forge.  It is a great store with a friendly staff and lots to look at.  It is well organized and has a lots of choices.  I may have even gotten Lisa interested in it.  Anyway, I bought a couple of booklets so I have plenty of creating to do!
We finished our little trip by stopping to eat at Ruby Tuesday.  It is the one national chain restaurant that Newport has and we frequent a lot.  Yesterday was their birthday, 44 years in the business, and they sent out a special email coupon for their email subscribers that was a good coupon; 44% off your total bill.  So even though we had great restaurants to choose from to eat in Knoxville and Pigeon Forge we returned to Newport to take advantage of the coupon.  All in all, it was a good day!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

An Eventful Drive

What an eventful drive we had!  I had to go to Morristown to get some lab work done and Lisa was nice enough to take me since Tim had the car.  On our way we had a black snake cross our path, I hate snakes and even in the car I get the willies!  After that it was the battle of the road with the farmers who were out and about on their tractors that go a speedy 5 mph.  It may be a bit faster than that but not by much!  After we finally got to an area of the road where we could pass it was great until we got close to the Dr office and we had a driver in front of us who was more concerned with something in her car than watching the signal lights.  So we sat at the light for an extra turn.  After the lab we had lunch then headed back to Parottsville where we had another driving adventure.  We met up with another farmer on his tractor and after a couple of miles following him we were up to speed again.  Once we got on the smaller road to get home we had a wildlife drive seeing vultures, other birds, cows, horses and a white wild turkey.  I have not seen a white turkey just black or brown. It was actually nice looking for a turkey.  Thanks Lisa for taking me to Mortistown.  It was an adventure!

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Day Off...Except For Me!

It was a quiet day at the farm as everyone took the day off; except me.  Tim and George have been working hard on the garage and so they decided to take Sunday off to rest up and get ready for golf today. It was a cool day so it was a good day to take a break.  Since I have done nothing but relax all week I decided it was time to get back down to the Crafty Cottage.  My neck is healing well, at least I think it is, and I can look down without it hurting or rubbing on the cut.  I spent all afternoon in the Crafty Cottage and designed another door prize for my sister Pam's SAS next month.  That is two door prizes down and two to go!  It felt good to be creating again and I will be back down at the Crafty Cottage today.  It was a good day!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

"God's Not Dead 2"

Lisa and I went and saw the movie, "God's Not Dead 2" yesterday.  It is a pretty powerful movie with a great message.  It has nothing to do with the first movie with the exception of some of the characters from the first movie.  The story line is different so if you haven't seen the first movie, "God's Not Dead" go and see this one anyway.  I liked it better than the first movie.  It is a movie for all ages although little kids would not understand the storyline so they might get bored.  I believe it is a movie everyone should see but unfortunately the only ones who do see it will already have faith and believe.  So, if you want a movie with a strong message then see this movie; you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Garage Is A "Shake" Work In Progress

Now that the front of the garage is completed Tim and George have moved to the side of the garage that is also the outdoor dining room.  The cedar shakes look great on the wall and it really makes the area look great. They got a good start on it yesterday and will finish up with it today as long as the weather holds out.  It is suppose to get cold and maybe rain.  While the guys were working on the garage Lisa and I went into Newport to get a few groceries.  It was the first time I have been out since my surgery and it went well but it did wear me out a bit.  When the guys were done with the garage for the day Lisa and George came up to our place where we had pizza and salad and watched the movie "God Is Not Dead".  Lisa and I will probably going back into Newport today to see the movie "God Is Not Dead 2".  Check back and see what we did! 

Friday, April 8, 2016

New Plants For The Farm

The sign I made last August that helps direct people at the farm got some new plants and they look great. George had purchased several plants a couple of months ago when they were on sale.  They were suppose to be planed in a different area on the farm but George decided to plant them up near the sign to fill in an area that was just dirt. The plants, bushes, will fill in that really nice.  The pictures of the area just do not pick up the plants.  Great camouflage! Believe me, they are there.  The morning was so nice that after taking pictures of the new bushes I walked around the top area of the farm and took some pictures of the other trees that were blooming.  We are suppose to get a freeze sometime this week end.  I hope it doesn't't happen because it is really pretty here at the farm right now and a freeze might hurt the blooming plants.  Spring is a pretty time at the farm.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Garage Gets Shakes

While I am recovering and taking it easy Tim is helping George finish up his garage by adding Cedar shakes to the garage.  It takes a lot longer than I thought.  They worked all day yesterday on it and are back at it today.  While they were working on the garage Lisa was kind enough to come and spend some time with me.  Thanks Lisa!  The garage turned out great but with the added shakes it will really look fantastic.  Nice job Tim and George! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Recovery Has Begun

I am out of the hospital and back home on the farm.  I was well taken care of during my stay in Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville but now that I am home Tim gets that fun!  So far, he has been great.  It won't be too tough since the next couple of days I am not suppose to do anything.  After that I just have to take care of the incision on my throat and not lift anything heavy.  I am pretty sure I can do that.  The pain is not too bad so that is a plus!  There is one thing that we are waiting to see what happens and that is involving my voice.  My understanding is that when removing the parathyroid a nerve from my voice box had grown around it so when removing it there may have been some damage to the nerve but we will have to wait and see.  Right now I have a voice and the Dr. was very glad to hear me speak.  With time and healing it will get better. I am sure of that!  Thanks again for all the prayers and good thoughts.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Surgery Was A Success

Thank you Dr Kropilak for doing a great job removing one of my parathyroids.  I found out that the one he removed was double the size and it took some work to get it out due to a nerve being wrapped around it.  He was concerned about my voice but I have one, though weak, everything will be good.  I had a good night in the hospital and so far all the labs are coming back good so as long as this morning's lab does I get to go home. I have had good care at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center from all that were involved and I want to thank them all.  I would also like to thank you for the prayers and good thoughts; they worked!  A special thank you to Tim and Lisa for being here at the hospital and to George who took care of Shadow for us. I am on the road to recovery and get to just lay low for the next fews as I recover!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Surgery Day

Today is my day to have surgery on my throat.  I am nervous and a bit scared but I have a good doctor and I know that it will all go well.  How I will feel afterwards is unknown but I will know it soon.  Look for an update sometime tomorrow,  It will be later than expected only because I have no idea how I will feel.  Please say a little prayer and thank you.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Just Another Beautiful Day At The Farm

It was a beautiful Spring day, sunny, cool with some wind but the mountains were clear and the view was amazing.  I couldn't help but take a picture.  Tim cut the grass and did some landscaping, George was busy working on the garage, Lisa was busy cooking for their houseguests, her daughter Kaitlyn brought three friends from Florida for the week end and I was busy creating  door prizes for my sister Pam's SAS.  Just another day at the farm until the late afternoon when I came up from the Crafty Cottage and saw Tim and George with a hammer on a string.  They were trying to figure out how to get a rope around a limb of a tree that George was concerned about with the way the wind was blowing it around.  So they both took some tries to get the hammer on a rope around the tree but it was unsuccessful and they both decided that the limb will be fine.  It was fun way to end a day and since I was there to see it I was able to take a couple of pictures of it too.  It was fun to watch and if they had been successful this whole blog would of been on it. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Parathyroid

Yesterday, Lisa and I drove into Knoxville so Lisa could run a couple of errands and I could get myself pre-registered at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center for some surgery I am having Monday, April 4th.  I have a parathyroid issue and needs to be removed. The parathyroid is a gland in the thyroid that secretes a hormone, parathyroid hormone, that regulates calcium levels in a person's body. The parathyroid, all four, sit behind the thyroid which is located in the neck just below the adam's apple and above the voice box.   The only way to remove the bad parathyroid is to cut open the throat and get behind the thyroid.  They have located the bad parathyroid, apparently they move around sometimes, when I had a scan done on my throat back in January and an Ultrasound done in March.  I have a very good surgeon who has been highly recommended and is very good at this kind of procedure.  The surgery could take a little time and I will have to stay in the hospital overnight.  Tim and Lisa will be taking me to the hospital on Monday morning and will be there for the surgery.  I have not been in the hospital since I had Jenny which is also the last time I had surgery.  So, this should be a fun experience...not!  Look for updates through out the week and on Facebook.
After our fun in Knoxville we headed over to Morristown for lunch and do some grocery shopping.  Yesterday, although cloudy, was a nice warm day so we decided to grill and enjoy a nice evening.  Thanks Lisa for a nice day together and thanks to Tim, George and Lisa for a nice evening.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Spring Is Showing Its Colors

Spring has definitely come to the farm.  We have had blooming trees for the past few weeks but now all the trees and bushes are budding or flowering and it is really getting pretty around here.  In the orchard the apricot, apple and peach trees are getting their leaves as they were the first to start blooming.  The pear and almond trees are showing their colors now.  We have several different trees that are beginning to bud and have flowers on them and the Red Buds are purple right now.  Around the area the Bradford pear trees are still blooming and even though they are "evil" trees and cross pollenate to create choking thorns they are still pretty and you can't help but be in awe of the them.  The spring green color of the grass and bushes and the many trees in the area with the orange buds just make a very colorful canvas to look at.
I have some sad news, this will be my last blog... NOT!!!  APRIL FOOLS!  Happy April Fools day!  This is not my favorite day due to the fact that I am usually the one that gets fooled.  So, watch out and be on your toes today, you never know who might come along and pull an April Fool's trick on you!  I have no plans to "fool" any one today but you just never know!  Check back and find out if I was made a fool of!  Happy April Fool's Day!