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Showing posts from June, 2014

Dixie Stampede

Sometimes you just have to be a tourist, even when you don’t quite feel like one.  Over the years we have spent a lot of time in Pigeon Forge visiting Dollywood and Splash Country.  We have gone zip-lining and horseback riding. We have eaten in some great restaurants and we have shopped in some great shops.  We have visited Gatlinburg, TN, been to the aquarium several times, and we have even driven through The Smokies to Cherokee, NC, but we have never been to the Dixie Stampede Dinner Theater.    Check this off our list!

Passing Time No Better Way

The girls have been jumping off this dock as long as we have been visiting Greg’s parents.  It is what they look forward to and the one thing they miss when we visit in the cooler months.  

My in-laws have amazing neighbors who truly care for and support one another.They extend their generosity to extended family as well.When we visit we are treated like their guests!The dock belongs to a neighbor and we are welcome to use it whenever we want.

Just as we were packing up and about to head back to Greg’s parents, their neighbor Don and his wife Donna came strolling down their hill with a tube wanting to know if we would like to take a boat ride and just in case we were thirst, they brought us some water.  The memory of my last boat ride two years ago where I tore a muscle water skiing is still fresh in my mind and I was quite content to be a passenger on this trip, and watch my girls enjoy themselves and the beauty of their surroundings.  

When my girls are older and look back on their Te…

Come On In Y'All

Sometimes things happen on road trips that change you just a little bit.  You see the goodness in people and it makes you want to be better, kinder, more willing to open your heart and your home to others.  When we were driving from AL to TN, we meandered through the back roads east of Huntsville to Grant, Alabama.  Our search for a meal led us to MiMi’s Cafe (not the chain).  We did not realize that on Tuesdays the restaurant is closed for packing the baked goods that are sold to local shops and restaurants. Closed?  Well, that is just a technicality.  We were told to come on in and have a seat.  Really?  Greg and I looked at each other incredulously.  Really?  Who does that? When the owner said she will cook us what she has - pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, sliced tomato and a few samples of different desserts, we said yes please!  The girls however were a bit leery.  They are not used to this type of openness, warmth and welcome.  Where we come from closed is closed, come a…

Where the skies are so blue

There is an old saying, “Good friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but you know they are always there!”.  This perfectly sums up my friendship with Karen.  If I had the time, I would go back through the years and years of blog posts to find the the very first comment she left.  One comment led to a dialogue which led to a friendship.  We have had five years of weekly comments, which led to weekly phone calls, which led to random texts whenever something popped into our minds, which led to a visit. I am so grateful that we were able to have this time together.  We arrived Sunday evening to a home cooked meal.  After a long day driving from Ohio, and two days of eating out, we were thankful for real food cooked with love.  I think my favorite memory of the time we spent was sitting on Karen’s back porch with the fairy lights, watching the girls turn cartwheels, talk about crafting, and playing with Nomad and Augustus.  Like Grace said, it was like we have known each other fo…

Nashville, TN

You can’t judge a town by spending an hour walking its streets.  An hour is not long enough for form a true opinion. Instead you are left either confirming or refuting the Trip Advisor review on the restaurant you just ate ate.  However, an hour is better than no time at all and an hour was just about all the time we had to discover Nashville, Tennessee.
There was no way I could drive the car past this city and not detour to stretch our legs and listen to some music, not with two music loving girls in my back seat.  My first impression was that Nashville is a city of contrast.  Amazing music.  That is pretty much a given.  Nashville is to country music what New York City is to theater.  Music billowed out of open windows and bar room doors.  Musicians slung their guitars over their back as they walked through the street on their way to wherever it was they were going.  Shop owners were friendly and the BBQ we grabbed to eat was delicious.  
I suppose you cannot have a street lined with …

A Chance Meeting

I have a girl who loves Instagram.  It gives her an outlet to share her creativity, find inspiration, and connect with people (mostly teens) who share her same interests.  She cultivates her account with care and intention.  She is considerate when replying to comments and she frequently checks in with me seeking advice and guidance.  Her account is now close to 2,000 followers.   She sought out permission to post that she was attending the Duct Tape Festival.  She understands that her public crafting account is for her crafts, not for sharing any personal information or posting pictures of herself.  Since this was craft related, and she was with her parents, we felt it was okay to share that she was attending this event and share pictures of herself at the event.   She was not the only one sharing photos of this festival and #ducktapefestival.  Some of her favorite crafters were also milling about buying, selling or seeking inspiration.  How cool is it that a kid from Connecticut can b…

Duck Tape Parade

Driving to Veteran’s Memorial Park we were struck by how lovely the town of Avon, Ohio is.  To view the Duck Tape parade, people lined the main street with the beds of pickup trucks filled with blankets, coolers and lawn chairs.  There was a sense of calm and peacefulness amidst a busy traffic scene.  People who lived along the route were selling parking spaces in their front yards for $5 and the money paid was for charity.  People used their front lawns to raise money for Ronald McDonald House and The Susan B. Komen Foundation.  This touched me deeply.   I am not from the Midwest like Greg’s family is.  I was born and raised in Massachusetts and the culture of the North East is so very different.  Even Lilah noticed the difference.  Parade participants created amazing floats displaying their duck tape creativity.  As the parade passed by, I was struck again by subtle differences.  Popsicles and cold water bottles were handed out to the parade goers!  Free.  Shocking and again deeply t…