Our view

Our view

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!  It will be another quiet one at the farm since we don't have any little kids, our neighbors do not either and we are on top of a mountain.  Maybe the cows and raccoons will visit but the garden is done so all they can get is weeds.  It will be a warm Halloween, in the 80's again.  I am not at the farm this year again since I am in southern California and it will actually be colder here in California then it will be in eastern Tennessee.  If we should get some trick or treaters Tim will be there to pass out the candy, if we had some.  I hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pre Game Family Fun

What does a family do when their favorite baseball team is playing in the World Series and we all just happen to be in the same state during the game?  We get together for some pre game fun then watch the game together.  I was lucky enough to fly over Wrigley Field yesterday then feel the energy that Chicago has for the Cubbies.  For this Cubs fan it was an amazing sight and feeling.  My sister Pam and SIL Karyn put out an amazing pre game spread and we enjoyed it all and had some fun with it.  We have always known how to have fun as a family and yesterday proved it once again.  Even though the Cubs lost it was fun watching the game together during the high points and feeling eachother's sorrow during the low points.  This fan is not giving up because the Cubs are going to win the next three games.  Thanks Pam, Brian, Craig, Karyn, Carrie H and Peyton for getting together for the game and pre game fun!  GO CUBS!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Flying The Friendly Skies!

We had an early start this morning as I have an early flight out of Knoxville.  I am headed to San Diego for a. Our of weeks!  WooHoo!  I will be staying with my sister and brother-in-law and I am so excited to be going.  It has been a year since I have been there so it will nice to be back.  We have lots of plans but tonight we will be watching the Cubs game.  My brother and sister-in-law are coming down so we will be all together for the game.  Let's go Cubbies!  San Diego, via Chicago, here I come!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Gatlinburg's Arts & Crafts Community

We spent the day checking out Gatlinburg's Arts & Crafts Community.  It is located in the Glades area of Gatlinburg and has been established for 75 years.  Over 100 artists and craftsman reside their with shops, galleries, restaurants,  and lodging.  The shops are located on a large loop and being off the main drag makes it easier to pull off the road to check out the shops.  We saw some incredible crafts and got to see some really great demos.  The pottery and wood carving is amazing and there were so many things I saw that would make perfect gifts for family and friends.  I even got some ideas of items I could try to make.  It is a great way to spend the day and we didn't even get through the whole loop which means I will be returning for another round.  Thanks Robin and Lisa for a great day.  It was fun!
Today we have to say good bye to our friends Bob and Robin.  They are continuing on their journey and will be heading to Florida to visit family and friends.  We have had a such a great time and it still amazes me that when ever we get together, no matter how much time apart, it is like we never were apart.  We just pick up where we left off.  Thank you Bob and Robin for visiting at the farm.  We loved every minute and we love and will miss you!  Safe travels my friends!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Bowling Update

The Pin Busters are still going strong and have just finished the first round but in dead last.  I do believe I am definitely the reason for our standings but my team members are so sweet and do not seem to mind.  I really do not mind because I am doing this just for fun which is what they both agree with.  I have gotten a little better and yesterday was one of my better matches and we took all the points.  So, now that we are in our second week of the next round maybe we will get better.  The only regret is that I am going out of town and will miss the next three weeks but I will be bowling while I am gone for practice.  Go Pin Busters!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

More Apple Barn Fun

After spending the morning at Cades Cove we were hungry and decided to go into Pigeon Forge for lunch.  There are a ton of places to eat but we decided to go to the Apple Barn for lunch.  When we got to there it was packed.  The parking lot that is normally only about half full during the week was completely full and cars were being parked along the road.  We surprisingly got a space and headed directly to the Apple Barn Farmhouse for lunch.  On Sundays there is only one menu and it is a bit more expensive but for the money you get a lot of food.  When you get seated you are served the apple julep and some apple fritters with apple butter.  We all decided to order the Pecan Chicken Salad with fruit.  When it was served it was huge and delicious.  There was so much that we all got two meals out of it.  After lunch we walked around the Apple Barn then headed to one of my favorite stores, especially during the holiday season, Old Time Pottery.  We walked around the store and picked up a couple of items.  I did not realize that Pigeon Forge had an Old Time Pottery so now that I do I will definitely be visiting it more often.  We had a great time in Pigeon Forge.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cades Cove

On Sunday we had an early start, well at least the girls did.  While the guys were still sleeping and later playing golf the girls, Robin, Lisa and me, got up early and went to Cades Cove in the Smokey Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg.  It take a couple of hours to drive to Cades Cove from the house because of its location in the park but it is worth it.  We got there early because it can get very crowded and with the colors at their peak the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area is busy especially on a week end.  We got there right after that area of the park opened and were greeted with deer right away.  Cades Cove was a farming area until around the 1930s when the land was purchased by the park service and converted to a National Park.  The community moved out but all of their cabins, barns, etc were left.  The park service left the housing area and created an 11 mile loop you could drive, bike or hike to see what life was like in the mountains back then.  It also is a beautiful area with great views of the Smokey mountains.  We saw lots of deer this trip in all of the meadows and not just one or two but there were at least four to five every time.  We did not get to see any bears but heard they were around.  The weather was perfect, a little cool but sunny, and we had a great time.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Happy Birthday Tim!

Today is Tim's birthday and I want to take this opportunity to wish him a very Happy Birthday!  This year we are celebrating it at the farm and with great friends.  Lisa and George and also Bob and Robin.  We have no real plans for the day just a relaxing day at the farm ending with a dinner out somewhere.  Instead of making Tim a Birthday cake I will be making him Pumpkin pies, his favorite.  One to share and one just for him.  Tim, I love you, I am so happy to be spending our lives together and have loved our life so far together.  Happy Birthday Tim!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Cubs Are Going To The World Series!!!

We had a great day yesterday and an even better night!  We went to Mountain Makings Festival yesterday in Morristown yesterday.  This is a great festival and very well attended by both crafters and shoppers.  It is held in the Rose Center and have both crafters booths inside and outside.  We saw some great things, purchased some things and even got some ideas to try.  We had a great time!  Later in the evening  we went to dinner at one of the better restaurants in Newport, The Fox And The Hound.  We had a great dinner, thank you Bob and Robin.  After dinner we all came to our place to watch the Cubbies play game six of the National League Championship Series.  They were up 3-2 games and going against the toughest pitcher in baseball.  The last time this guy pitched against the Cubs he got a shut out but not this time.  The first inning did him in and he never got back in his groove.  The Cubs played a great game, offense and defense, and won making the Cubs National Leagues Champions for the first time in 71 years!  It has been a long time for Cubs fans but we are loyal to the end and we have finally been rewarded.  So to the Chicago Cubs, THANK YOU from one loyal cub fan who has been waiting for this, literally, her whole life.  Now on to the World Series to play against the Cleveland Indians.  GO CUBS GO!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Farmer's Daughter and Marketplace

We had our first real dose of Fall weather yesterday with temperatures in the high 50's/low 60's and rain.  What a change from the 85 degree weather we have been having all week but now it feels like fall.  So our plans changed up a bit.  Originally we were going to Abingdon, VA but the rain stopped that then we were going to have what is considered THE BEST BBQ Ribs in Eastern Tennessee but since it is outdoor seating that wasn't going to happen so we decided to only eat one big meal for the at and went to The Farmer's Daughter.  It is a restaurant that serves family style, all home cooking and really good.  If you leave this place hungry then you didn't like the food.  We had two meats, our choice, and about 15 sides along with a drink and dessert all for one price.  It was delicious and sharing it with wonderful friends made it even better.  I think we are still FULL!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Barn Quilt Tour - Greene County

While the guys were out golfing the girls (Robin, Lisa and me) went on a barn quilt tour.  Several months ago Lisa and I did a barn quilt tour in Cocke county and it was fun but there were not a lot.  Greene county has a great barn quilt tour and after introducing barn quilts to Robin we all decided to do the tour.  Barn quilts were a form of decoration on the barns a hundred plus years ago and then it was stopped until the late 1990s to early 2000s.  The barn quilt is very similar to quilts made of material except is it usually on square and about 8 ft x 8 ft.  Most barn quilts are made of a simple design of bright colors so it can be seen from a distance.  Today barn quilt tours are very popular especially in rural areas with several barns.  We saw quite a few barn quilts but had to drive all over the back roads of Greene county.  It was challenging but fun to find some of the barns.  Thanks Lisa and Robin for coming along on the tour and a big THANK YOU to Lisa who drove.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hanging Arouind The Farm

We all had a lazy day at the farm, well sort of.  While I was bowling there were some adventures that were taken.  Tim and Robin decided to go ginseng hunting.  Ginseng is a cash crop that can be found in the woods through out Tennessee, North Carolina, etc.  If a mature root can be found it can bring thousand of dollars.  We were talking about it at dinner so Robin and Tim decided to check out the holler at the farm and they did find one small immature root that only has another 15 to 20 years to go before it is worth anything.  Lisa and George had a little acrobatic fun on the Gator but that is all I can say about that without getting into trouble.  We spent the afternoon relaxing, playing games, Robin taught us a couple of good ones, and had a great steak dinner before the debate.  It was another great day with great friends.  Oh yeah, and as for bowling?  I did bowled my average and handicap.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Gatlinburg Fun

We had a great day in Gatlinburg yesterday.  We started with a very colorful drive to Gatlinburg, a little over an hour's drive, with the fall leaves all changing.  This week is the peak of the season and leaves changing.  The mountains are looking a little more colorful with shades of orange and yellow.  We were going to Gatlinburg to visit because the Craftsman's Fair at the convention center.  There were hundreds of craftsman selling and working on their crafts.  This year there was even a glass blower with a portable oven.  There were some really beautiful items there and it always amazes me the talent these craftsmen have.  After the fair we decided to visit Ole Smokey Distillery for some moonshine tasting.  The tastings cost $5.00 a piece but then you receive a coupon for $5.00 to be used toward the purchase of some moonshine.  Our tasting host was a great and fun guy, Trever, who made the tasting so much fun with his jokes and one liners.  He even took a selfie for and with us.  There were some new flavors, seasonal, and they were good.  The peppermint and salted caramel were delicious and would taste really good in hot chocolate.  Thanks Trever, you were great.  After the tasting and doing a little shopping we were hungry and headed for one of our favorite restaurants, Texas Roadhouse, for linner (lunch/dinner).  After that we walked around Gatlinburg and checked out some shops.  It was crowded especially for a Tuesday which kind of surprised us but it did not stop us from enjoying ourselves.  On our drive back to Parrottsville we went via the Foothills Parkway just to take in some more scenery and color of the season.  It was a great day with great friends and it is only the beginning of our time together. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Colors Around The Farm

It is really getting pretty with the fall colors around the farm.  The trees are changing quickly and in only a week the color change has been amazing.  We have one tree that leads down to the Crafty Cottage that is just a magnificent orange color that every time I look at it I am just in awe of the color.  The camera does not do it justice.  All the colors are starting to pop and looking out at the surrounding mountains the color change is happening.  We do not get the vivid colors like up in New England but we come pretty close.  It is beautiful!
Bob and Robin have arrived and we had a great first evening all together last night.  It has been a couple of years since we were all together but it did not feel that way.  It was like we were never apart.  Today we are all headed to Gatlinburg for the day so check back tomorrow for an update!

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Pad Is Ready

After several days of digging and hauling dirt to create a bigger RV pad it is now officially done and more than twice its size.  This is good because we have guests coming for a two week stay at the farm.  Our best friends, Bob and Robin, are traveling with their travel trailer and will be staying with us for a little bit so we can all be together again.  Bob and Robin, George and Lisa and Tim and I have been camping together for at least 20 years and we have had some really great times and trips together.  We even did annual camping at Stephen Foster State Park every New Years. Our kids grew up together camping and going to the same Church for quite a while.  We are very excited about being all together again and we have lots of plans while we are together.  Follow along and see what we do; it is going to be a fun two weeks!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

On Cosby

We went to On Cosby, the Cosby Fall Festival.  It is the best one in the area with lots of crafters, good food, entertainment, a vintage car show, a beauty pageant, a dog show, games and rides.  There is even great parking for a small fee which is worth it.  This is one Fall Festival that even Tim and George enjoy going to.  It was a great day for On Cosby too; warm and sunny.  There were some really great items at the festival and I got a few ideas that I could make for gifts or decorations.  I also so a few "dream cars" I would love to have.  All in all, it was a great festival and a lot of fun!  Way to go Cosby; another successful Fall Festival!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Erwin, TN

We took a little trip yesterday afternoon to Erwin, TN a town about an hour northeast of Parrottsville near the North Carolina border.  Erwin became a town in the 1879.  It's original name was actually Ervin named after N.A. Ervin who donated 15 acres to become a town and a county seat of Unicol county.  The name was changed to Erwin due to a post office typo error that switched the V with a W.  It was never corrected and the name stuck.  Erwin is also known as the town that killed Mary the Elephant.  Mary the Elephant was an elephant that killed it's trainer while performing in Kingsport, TN. in 1916 and was ordered to be hung.  Erwin's rail yard had the only crane large enough to support the weight of the elephant.  Over 25,000 people showed up to watch the hanging.  Since the Mary the Elephant hanging Erwin has been trying to change it's image from being known as the town that hung Mary.  It really is a nice town that is surrounded by mountains and sits along the Nolichucky river.  With the leave changing it was a beautiful ride.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Honey Glazed Carrots In The Slower Cooker

It was such a nice cool Fall day that we decided to grill out last night with George and Lisa.  We do grill out every week end but last night we grilled out instead because we are going on a little journey tonight.  I wanted to do something with carrots and I found a recipe that I could use in my slow cooker and it turned out really well.  It was delicious and easy.  Lisa made a new potato dish too that was really great that I will post on another day if she agrees to share it, I am sure she will.  We had a great dinner on a beautiful cool night. 

Honey Glazed Carrots
1 pound of carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of honey
salt and pepper to taste

1. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray
2. Place the carrots in the slow cooker
3. Add the butter on top of the carrots
4. Drizzle the honey over the carrots and butter
5. Season with salt and pepper
6. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.

Fast and easy and yummy too!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Colors Are Beginning At The Farm

Now that we are back at the farm the colors are just beginning to change.  We have had some cool nights, in the low 50's/high 40's so the leaves should begin to really change.  The only thing is we don't know how long it will last because it has been so hot or at least warm during the days.  So the Fall colors may be brief but at least we are here to see and enjoy what we get.  So, with that said, bring on the Fall colors.  I have posted a couple of pictures of what we have so far! It is beginning!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

We Are Back At The Farm

We are back at the farm and in just in time to watch the Cubs game.  It was not looking good for the Cubs but they persevered and won the National League Division series.  Now it is on to the National League Championship Series.  Go Cubs Go!!!
Our drive was uneventful again and that is always good when traveling almost 700 miles.  We had great weather during the trip and rewarded once again when we got just west of Knoxville with some beautiful Fall foliage.  Even though it was getting dark I was able to snap a few pictures to share.  I am just waiting until it gets light here to check out our view.  We had a great time with Mom C and Jim and seeing brothers Bill and Rick and families and last but not least seeing Robin and Bob early.  Thanks to all for a great trip but it is good to be home!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

We Are Headed Back To The Farm

We are headed back to the farm today after a great visit with Mom C and Jim and Branson, MO.  We have had such a great time but it is time to head back to the farm.  We have a long drive to make but it is worth it because we had such a good time here  If we could we would stay longer but  I have bowling tomorrow, look for a special announcement tomorrow about bowling, and we have to get ready for our visitors and great friends, Bob and Robin, who are coming to stay at the farm for a couple of weeks.  Thank you Mom and Jim for a wonderful time and your hospitality.  We love you both and will miss you.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Equipment Saga Continues

The rented backhoe has been doing really well and a lot of dirt was being moved utilizing the dump truck and after thinking there would not be anymore issues the dump truck decided it needed a break so it broke down.  It is out of commission until further notice.  Now there are still a few more days left on the rental of the backhoe so what is George doing about moving the dirt form the house to the top of the hill?  He is moving it one scoop at a time.  The dump truck will work again...after they figure out what is wrong with it.  The equipment saga continues!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Parrottsville Heritage Days

The second week end of October is when Parrottsville holds it Heritage Days Fall Festival and for a small town this is no small event.  They Parrottsville city park gets transformed into a wonderful festival that has great crafters booths, food and entertainment.  The park is a beautiful area with a big pavilion, lots of green grass, a barn for the entertainment all sitting along a creek.  There is lots of parking and it is set up around the walking path so it is easy to see the booths.  Not only does the park get decorated for fall but the town does with every telephone/electrical pole in town decorated.  Even town hall is festive.  Thank you Parrottsville for making autumn a bit more special.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Parrottsville Fall Festival Part 1

Today is Parrottsville Fall Festival and even though I will not be able to attend Lisa will be going and will share the with us how it was.  Parrottsville Fall Fest is held at the town park that I shared with you last Spring.  It is a great location in the middle of Parrottsville with lots of parking.  This festival is one of a few events that happen in Parrottsville and I just hope the weather will be good.  It takes place rain or shine but I hope for the crafters it will be nice.  There are usually great vendors and this is what I think a Fall Festival is compared to Newport's Fall Fest last week.  This is the second Fall Festival in the area with a few more to go to in the coming weeks.  Enjoy Lisa, George and Kaitlyn.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Hurricane Relief At The Farm

As the Hurricane moves in on Florida here at the farm we have a Hurricane evacuee here at the farm.  Lisa and George's daughter, Kaitlyn, decided to move up her visit to the farm to this week end instead of next week end to get out of Florida during Hurricane Matthew's reign.  Travis, their son, was also going to make the journey but decided to ride it out in Jacksonville.  So Welcome Kaitlyn!  My kids decided to also stay in Jacksonville and ride out the storm.  They are prepared and ready for whatever Hurricane Matthew brings.  Be careful my Florida family and friends.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Just A Glimpse For Halloween

While Tim and George continued to play with the dirt I was busy creating something very cute, at least in my opinion, for Halloween.  My sister gave me the idea and so I had to make some for family and friends.  It is a 3D Halloween card but it did take two days to make just 6 of them. The first one I made was actually for my Rory.  I think she will really like the card and even though she is only two I still think she will like it.  I know her Mom will!   So check out the pic and here is a hint, there is a glimpse of the card in the picture.  Today Tim and I are headed to Branson, MO to spend a long weekend with Mom C and Jim. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Expanding The Pad

The RV Pad at the top of the hill at the farm is being expanded.  When George originally built it he did it for his Class A motorhome where he drove into the pad.  That works great for Class As but 5th wheels and travel trailers do not have the luxury.  So, in order to be facing the direction of  a few and not a bunch of trees the RV pad has to be expanded.  How do you expand something that is surrounded by a holler?  You need dirt, lots of it, and there is plenty of dirt to be had but it needs to dug up and moved.  That is what Tim and George have been working on for the past week or so.  Of course one important thing needed is for the equipment to work.  Last Thursday things were going great and progress was made until Friday when the dump truck broke an axel.  Tim and George had it fixed by Saturday and the digging continued until Sunday when the backhoe decided to stop moving forward.  At this point the backhoe is needed to finish the pad and moving the dirt around is what is needed to complete the pad.  If you remember right, the last time the backhoe broke it took over 6 months to get repaired mostly due to TMT (Tennessee Mountain Time).  So, with a mess created something had to be done.  George decided to rent a backhoe to get the Pad project completed.  Monday afternoon, a backhoe was delivered and George has been digging up a storm.  Tim and George have spent the rest of Monday and into Monday night and all of Tuesday and Tuesday night working on moving the dirt and expanding the pad.  One more day, today, should do it and the pad should be well on its way to being completed.  Good thing too since Tim and I leave for Branson, MO tomorrow.  Check out the pictures of the old and new equipment and how the new pad is progressing.  Good job Tim and George! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Giant Spider?

I came across one of the coolest Halloween decorations I have seen in a while and it was all homemade and HUGE!  Lisa and I were driving to Morristown to do some shopping and along one of the back roads was a huge spider.  What it was made of was genius and I would love to do it myself.  The house where this was located used a rolled hay bale for the body, tubing for the legs, it had big eyes and then used some spider webbing and threw in a critter in the web.  It was great and when you drive past it really leaves an impression.  We passed it on the way to Morristown so on our way back I stopped and took a picture because it was so cool.  Way to go to the family who did it.  Halloween is only 27 days away!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Victory Lanes

The bowling alley in Newport, TN is Victory Lanes and that is also where I bowl in the Coffee League on Wednesday mornings.  As you know, I am not very good so Tim and I decided to go bowling to get some practice in for me.  I really needed to figure out what I was doing wrong and why I could not get a pattern set for bowling.  Victory Lanes is a very nice bowling alley.  It is a bit older than a lot of bowling alleys but it is well maintained and the staff is very friendly.  The best part is that it is very reasonable to play a few games.  It was quiet when we went but that was great for me because I could try things without making me look really bad; I do that really well already!  Tim and I bowled three games and after all that practice I figured out that I do not have a step pattern to approach the lane and if I don't think and just roll the bowl I do much better then when I am trying to concentrate on the pins.  It was fun and we will be going bowling more often.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Newport Fall Festival

It is fall festival time here in eastern Tennessee and for the next five weeks there will be fall festivals in the surrounding towns.  Last year I was in California so I missed all of the festivals but this year I will be able to attend a few.  The first one is the fall festival in Newport, TN.  Main Street for a couple of blocks is closed to vehicle traffic and lot of booth are set up.  The Newport Fall Festival is more of a business related festival with many businesses and churches manning booths. There are kiddie rides, food trucks and lots of games too.  They is also a Beautiful Baby Contest and the Miss Newport Pageant.  It is our least favorite festival but it is the first and gets us ready for the rest of the festivals.  Next week is Parrottsville Fall Festival.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Welcome October!

Welcome October and with it some more seasonal temperatures.  The past couple of days have been in the high 60's low 70's and at night it is getting down into the 50's.  The leaves have not started changing yet but with these temperatures it should start to happen soon.  In saying that, last night when I was coming up from the Crafty Cottage, I looked over to the mountains in North Carolina and they were glowing.  The sun was setting and lite up the mountains and even though the leaves haven't changed yet it looked like it had.  It was a beautiful sight and a nice view to end the day with.  Today, the first fall festival starts here in eastern Tennessee and for the next 5 weeks they will continue in several towns around up.  Check back tomorrow to see how the festival was.