Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm Behind!

Hey, y'all! I know I'm terribly behind in blogging, but I have had good reason. What am I saying...I always have good reason! Most of the time, I'm busy or I don't feel like I've done anything interesting enough to blog about! I'll give you a head's-up, too...I'll most likely be backing off blogging a bit anyway. It's time for me to back off so much personal detail...don't worry...nothing's wrong! So, look for more recipes, reposting of archived posts from my old blog, and perhaps the occasional personal update. You can email me if you need to know something and I'll be pretty good...maybe...about getting back to you! Better yet, come see me! Or you could always call me...holler if you need my number.

For now, I'll try to catch everyone up on the past couple weeks. Bear on the Square was a couple weekends ago now. We had a good time there, as usual, and Mom and Dave did really well selling their stuff. I think they did better Saturday than they had all weekend, in previous years. This makes the fourth year we've set up there, I believe. Or maybe it's the, I think it's the fourth. Anyway...folks know we'll be there and they come buy stuff. That's the way it's supposed to work!

I got to hear my former fiddle teacher play fiddle, which is always a pleasure. We played together just a little (I'm horribly out of practice,) and he helped Titus along with some songs on the banjo. It was a lot of fun.

We got back home last Monday (after stopping by Amicalola Falls....I still have to edit and upload my pics) and were getting back in the swing of things, and we got a call Thursday that my great-grandmother had passed away. Mom and Dave were due to go to Louisville for a show Friday, and they would be gone until Monday. Well, our plans were all switched around, and Mom, Dad, Titus, and Philip headed to GA Friday morning, and Dave and I spent the weekend in Louisville. I would have liked to have been in GA, but Dave couldn't cancel this show, and someone needed to go with him. Mom couldn't miss going to GA, so that's how everything worked. I'm pretty tired of being gone on the weekends...that makes twice in a row. But we had a good time, and Dave sold a ton of stuff and did really well. So, I guess it all works out.

We went to visit my great-grandmother around Christmas, when we were in GA. She knew who both Mom and I were, which was unexpected. This is the last picture we took together....four generations. I'd always thought it would be neat for her to see my kids...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Me Again

I'm just posting tons of miscellaneous updates here, but I can't name all of my posts "miscellaneous update" now, can I?

Remember the coffee mug that my aunt got me for my birthday?

And for scale...pictured with my current coffee mug.

(That's our 36-cup coffee maker behind it.)

I went to Walmart today and printed out some pictures that were Jacob's favorites, pictures of us. A couple weeks ago, we were scrolling through pictures on my iPod and he told me he needed some pictures of us. So, his wish is my command. ;)

The Saturday I ran into Jacob at Walmart, many many weeks ago now, Mom and I had been yard-saling that morning. That was just a week or so after he's emailed me out of the blue (all this is in our story, of course!) and it was the first time I'd seen in around town in a year or so. That morning, I'd bought a picture frame at a yard sale. I'd told Mom she needed it, because I didn't really have a use for it at the time, but she didn't like it. So I went ahead and bought it, deciding just to put it up until it was time for me to be able to use it.

It's time. :)
 Dave hasn't been feeling well for the past day or so, and he laid down this afternoon. Rylie had wanted to take her nap on his bed this afternoon, so...

This morning, Dad needed some sawdust from the sawmill, so Dave was going to run get it for him. We get our sawdust from the sawmill Jacob works at, so I decided to tag along, just for Dave's company, you know. ;) Just like any normal girl would, I spent a little while this morning getting ready...put on a cute, cap-sleeve, white button-up shirt, with a very springy light skirt, one that hits me a few inches below my knee. It's been a little cooler lately, but still in the 60s in the afternoons. Well, I stepped outside to get in the truck this morning, and it was a little cooler than I'd expected! Got in the truck, and the thermometer said 44*. Wow. A little chilly, especially since I looked like I was going to the beach in July!!!

So, we got to the sawmill, and I walked over to where Jacob was working. Under a big pole-barn type set-up, and it was breezy. And it was COLD. Like, really chilly. Jacob walked over to where I was standing for a couple minutes and looked down at what I wearing....he had a crazy glint in his eye and said "kinda cold out today, ain't it?!" as he was bundled up in his t-shirt, button-up, AND sweatshirt with a hood! He had to go back to working, and I just stood around watching for a while, since we were waiting for the guys to load up our sawdust. A few minutes later, Jacob ran out to his car and brought me his big jacket to wear. :) Let's hear it....aaawwwwww. ;)

I've got to run, just thought I'd post a few things while I was thinking about it! Time for me to head out to Pellyton. :) I hope I'll get to stop in at the house today and maybe get some pictures, if I remember my camera!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Miscellaneous Updates

Last year I cut Regal's hair really short, for the summer. He's prone to have skin issues and he gets really hot pretty easy (he lays in the driveway when it snows, instead of being in his house!) so I thought he'd be better off if I cut his hair. So, last year, I bought clippers and gave him a haircut.

It's about that time again now, so I tackled it today, which is also his birthday. I actually didn't remember...AKC sent him an email wishing him happy birthday. Some Mama I am...

Everything went fine with the clipping, until the clippers quit working. Pics of the process...

Regal LOVES getting a hair cut! I worked on him for well over an hour this afternoon and he laid there just like that the entire time. Every time I would turn off the clippers he's raise his head and look up at me, like "Um...what do you think you're doing?!"

Well, I clipped his whole right side and then got him to roll over so I could do the left. And the clippers quit cutting. Like, seriously, they wouldn't cut ANYTHING. I was keeping them cleaned and oiled and they just quit cutting. should see him now. It's quite pitiful...and also a little funny. One side is short and the other is long. Hm. I don't know what I'm going to do now...I guess I'll have to send the blades off to be sharpened or something like that. Inconvenient and aggravating!

Over the past couple of weeks, I've been working in our existing strawberry patch. I got most of it done, but now I'm going back over some of it to get all the tiny weeds out, and I'll be clearing out in between the rows so I can put down the black plastic sheets and sawdust, to keep that clean. I'm also replanting some strawberries that I dug up last week. Rylie was helping me yesterday...

We also had a lesson on why we can't pick the pretty flowers off the strawberry plants! The pretty flowers make baby strawberries!

My new favorite lunch...wraps!
This time I had stir-fried chicken, but most of the time I use lunch meat (the good nitrates and all) inside. I pack it with as many veggies as I can find in the fridge. Most of the time, I use feta cheese (SOOO yummy!) but this time all we had was cheddar...I was out of feta. Let me see if I can remember everything..spinach, radishes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, cheese, chicken, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar...I'm sure I'm forgetting something! I LOVE fresh basil in these, but all I had yesterday was dried. Significantly less yummy than fresh! I usually use the bigger wheat shells, but Mom got these smaller ones when she shopped last...hence the two of them on my plate! These would be good with regular salad dressing on them, too, but I love the oil and vinegar and it's healthier than standard dressings! Wraps are so can put just about anything you want in them. It's a great way for me to pack in a bunch of veggies without a lot of bread at lunchtime! 

By the way, if anyone was wondering...I eat really really slow. Just a fun random fact about me. So slow, that Jacob (now you didn't think I was about to write another post without mentioning him, did you?!) can eat twice as much as me and be done eating well before I am. Last Wednesday, we ate at the Mustard Seed (their store) and he was making fun of me SO BAD because I was eating so slow! We were at our own booth and one of his sisters was laughing because every time Jacob turned away from me, I'd chew really really fast and then we were both laughing and the poor man couldn't figure out why. 

He even wrote me a $20 ticket for eating too slow. I told him that just covered supper Saturday night. ;)

Looks like I'll be headed out to Pellyton again tomorrow sometime. Jacob's work schedule has been busy at the sawmill and he's been working on the house a lot too. He tore out all the flooring in the living room and kitchen already, and bought the wood to replace the floor joists. I'm anxious to get over there and help him work on it, but I think I'll be more helpful on the stuff that comes after ripping the floor out. :) Jacob's such a hard worker...he continually amazes me with everything he's doing.

See..had to brag. :) It's my job.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pigeon Forge

Half of these pictures were taken on my iPod, so the quality varies! 

Mom and I left Thursday morning for the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. We were supposed to meet my granny and my aunt around lunch time, in Gatlinburg. Well, we got there about 30 minutes earlier than they did, a fact of which we were very proud. They were just sure we were going to be late. We weren't.

We ate at O'Charley's for lunch, then walked around downtown Gatlinburg in the afternoon. I bought a couple silk wrap skirts, and a couple gifts for a certain someone. Said gifts will be given in July (said someone's birthday) and I don't know how I'm supposed to wait until then. Aggravating. Anyway, I think that's all I bought. We walked through so many interesting stores, and still didn't see but about half of them, I guess! Here's me and granny...
At lunch, the waiter brought me a brownie and granny asked him if he was going to sing to me. How embarrassing! He said he would, but that he sounded like a "mule in a hail storm!" He sang, and everyone else joined in, and it didn't sound bad at all. But then, I've never heard a mule in a hail storm...maybe it's a good thing.

We had leftovers from our lunch, and the waiter asked if we wanted boxes. Being that we couldn't take anything with us, we said no. Well, he said something about feeding the leftovers to the cats. If you know my mom, you know she LOVES cats. So, she said that she would like to go feed the cats. The waiter said, "just go outside and yell 'Harvey'" It seriously sounded like candid camera!!! It wasn't though, and she went out and fed the stray cats.

Tara helped...
When we checked into the hotel, we took a luggage rack to hold our luggage. This is what happens when we all get together.

(She's probably going to kill me)

Oh, I forgot! When we checked into the hotel after lunch, my granny had had birthday cakes and roses delivered to our room, individual for my aunt, Mom, and me. She also had some gifts, and my aunt gave Mom and I our gifts then, too. Mine is a coffee mug...but I'll have to get a picture of it to post. It's no ordinary's something else. I love it!

Let's see...Thursday night, we went to Johnny Carinos for supper...I picked. We had meaningful heart to heart conversation.
 Mom and I split a calzone...

 And the nice waiter brought me cheesecake. He didn't sing.

 After supper (which was late) we went to Walmart and looked at girly things (along the Spanx line, since we'd just eaten Italian and all felt fat.) Then we went back to the hotel and watched TV and stayed up til 2 am or something like that. We were all in one room, my aunt and granny in one bed, and mom and I in the other. Well, you know what they started doing at one o'clock in the stinkin morning? They all started singing Henry the Eighth I Am. I felt rather left out...I didn't know the words. Before it was over, there were a few different songs sung...I'm surprised no one called management on us!

Friday morning, we all got up and got ready. That in and of itself was a challenge...4 women in a hotel room doesn't make for getting ready fast! We ate a light breakfast (we sorta still felt icky after all the Italian the night before!) and then went to Dollywood. Actually, we went by the Dixie Stampede place first to get our tickets for the show that night. While granny took care of the tickets, we went to see the horses.

Then we went to Dollywood.

We rode the trolly thing into Dollywood, from out parking lot.

We toured Dolly Parton's old tour bus...

Hand tooled leather on the couches...

Then we rode the rides. We started out with this big swingy thing...basically, it swung you up, dropped you, and did that over and over, getting higher and higher every time. I laughed the whole time.

We rode this was underground, but wasn't very thrilling, I didn't think. Just a couple little drops, but not very fast or anything.

Then we rode the new Wild Eagle roller coaster. I didn't have my camera with me (left it in a locker so I could ride) and it was fun. Just one big drop that took your stomach really bad! Here is a video and more info.

Then we rode the TN Tornado....still didn't get very good pictures!

We ate lunch (after all the rides!!!) Here we were trying to decide exactly how you'd drink a 44oz drink!

Can someone please tell me what this sign means? We were confused.

We liked this sign...

My aunt made me stand in this funny thing...

Then my aunt, who didn't want to ride the coasters, wanted to ride the ferris wheel. Sure!

Mom. It was at this point she started freaking out ever so slightly.

Her ever so slight freaking out soon turned into more.
As you can see on the video, it had started to rain. We had to leave Dollywood to be at the Dixie Stampede show on time, so we had to run through the rain to get to the trolly to get to the car. Well, this was no sprinkle.

By the time we got to the car, we were all completely soaked through. As in, we had to go back to the hotel room and change clothes (all clothes) and dry our hair and everything. I've never been so soaked from rain!
We went to the Dixie Stampede that night but they don't let you take pictures inside. :(
That night (I think) we got a Starbucks coffee. For some strange reason, the girl writing our names on our cup thought my granny (Rita) said her name was "William." It loses SO much punch trying to retell it, but we laughed for a looong time about that!

We also went to a pharmacy because I had taken prescription allergy medication earlier in the day and after we got out of the Dixie Stampede, I had a funny feeling in my throat like I couldn't breathe. We guessed it was from being closed up in there with the animals. Anyway, I needed to take something to make sure my throat didn't completely close up and we weren't sure what to do since I'd taken 12-hour medication 8 hours before. The pharmacy guy was a hoot and we had a lot of fun with him.

Saturday morning, we went back to Gatlinburg and walked around a few more stores...this outdoor store was one.
 We went to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co for lunch, and had a Russian waiter. He was great and he and Mom cut up the whole time. She's like that. Again, I can't even begin to retell everything, because it's just not as funny if you weren't there. Take my word for it, we laughed and cried because we were laughing the whole time we ate.

But the best part came after we ate, when it was time for Mom to have dessert since her birthday was the next day. The video says it all. And more. This may be the funniest thing I've ever witnessed.
After lunch it was time for all of us to head home. We said our goodbyes and got in a hail storm not too far down the road.

I was driving on the way home, and Mom and I both were extremely sleepy. At one point, Mom was going through the radio, just sitting there with her finger on the seek button, mostly. Once, she stopped on a station that was all static...I mean, there wasn't anything coming through at all! She stayed on that station for about 30 seconds, and when I looked over at her to see what was going on, she was asleep! She woke up right then and I laughed. She said "how long was that station on?" I told her and we both laughed for about a minute, and then got sleepy again.

We stopped a little while down the road for a coffee and when we payed, the guy asked how we were doing. I said "sleepy!" He told us to be careful on the way, and Mom said "we've already been through hail!"

We knew were in the south when he replied "literally!"

Um, yeah...that's what we meant!!! Haha!

We got home about 8pm or so and went ahead and did Mom's birthday party, since I was going to be gone Sunday. She didn't want to wait til Monday.

We had a great time in TN. We ate too much, spent too much money, and laughed enough to last...oh...a couple weeks. :)

My Birthday

My birthday was last Thursday. Since Mom's is just a few days after mine, we usually (like, for the past 23 years) have parties together. However, since things are a bit different this year, I really wanted to go ahead and have my party Wednesday evening, when Jacob was here. So that's what we did! I made both my meal (pizza) and my cake...we were both really busy getting everything ready to go for our birthday trip (making food for the guys, making sure their clothes were clean, etc) so it just worked out better for me to make my stuff while Mom was doing other stuff. I had fun with my's not every day you make your own cake, so I made it memorable. It's just a chocolate cake and I used some icing I had leftover from a while back when I made a cake. So, it's like a thrifty cake, too...haha!

Dave took the pictures of my party. Here are a few...

Opening my new ear wrap...
What is this???

Ooohhh. This. I really really wanted this set, but it was a bit embarrassing to open and explain, considering the company. ;) See? His face is red. :)

My grandparents gave me this...
I think Jacob wants to watch it. What do you think? ;)

That's about all from my birthday. I got a ton of stuff...3 ear wraps, a set of earrings, 2 knitting magazines, a knitting book, the Making Babies set, Pioneer Woman's new cookbook, the Farm Chicks cookbook, and a dessert cookbook. That was all just from my immediate family.

We left for Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg Thursday morning, but I'm going to put that in a separate post. It'll be long!

Sunday I went to Jacob's right after church and ate lunch with them. After lunch, they surprised me with another party! Jacob bought me a cheesecake I'd told him I loved, they put a candle in it, and sang to me. Super embarrassing! Mr. and Mrs. Ellis bought me a rose bush and the little girls made me homemade birthday cards. It was so sweet! They're making me feel very welcome in their family. Jacob got me all kinds of stuff...chocolates, a Cato gift card, a bottle of perfume, and a set with lotion and body spray in it. The perfume is special, because I've never really worn any and I'd wanted Jacob to pick out what he liked. I love it too, and I hardly ever love perfumes. Of course, everything he gave me is special because he picked it all out, and that's not something he has much practice at doing! :) He was talking about picking out the perfume, and he said "Do you know how many kinds there are?! I'd spray one, 'yuck!' then spray another 'yuck! I don't think so!" I'm glad he found one he likes. :) 

Sunday afternoon we all just sat around for a little while, and then Jacob took me down to see the river that's close to the house. We stopped in at our house so I could see what he's gotten done so far, and wow!!! He's taken the whole living room floor out already! Poor guy, he's so worried I'll be disappointed or discouraged with how it's looking right now. When I asked to stop and look at the house, he said "you don't really want to, do you?" Um..yeah! So he stopped and we got out and on the way to the door, he kept saying, "there's no floor you's just looks rough right now..." I'm so excited about the house and what he's doing with it, and I'm trying to convince him of that! Worry wort! I'm trying to figure out a time I can go out there and help him work on it...I think that sounds like so much fun! In my family, we've always done everything ourselves, and we've remodeled quite a bit, so it's something I'm used to being around! It's exciting!

Then we drove down to the river and walked around for a little bit. It's so pretty down there this time of year, with everything greening up. They were skipping rocks and laughed at my feeble attempts. I think I need some practice! Jacob said he was going to throw me in, but he didn't. ;)

On the way back to the house, he asked if I wanted to go mountain climbing. Mountain climbing? I said sure, so he stopped and said we'd climb Buzzard's Roost. It was really something...pretty tough to climb up, since it was so steep, but I had a lot of fun and the view from the top was incredible. I'll have to get him to take me again sometime, since I didn't take my camera! Jacob ended up getting really nervous on the climb though, because he thought I might fall. And if I did fall, I'd pretty much roll off the was that steep. I guess it was pretty dangerous, and he kept asking if I was scared, but stuff like that doesn't scare me. I'm not afraid of heights and I enjoy climbing like we did. Seriously, I can't describe how steep it was...a lot of the time you had to crawl up on your hands and knees and grab roots in the ground or trees to pull yourself up. On the way back down, you pretty much slid from tree to tree. I had a blast though, and we got back without Jacob having a heart attack, which was a plus. It's amazing to me to be able to see clearly, in instances like this especially, how protective of me he's grown. I'm in no way complaining...I think it's a beautiful thing!!! In this modern, feministic world, I love seeing old time chivalry, where men and women's roles are allowed to grow into what they're naturally meant to be! Seeing Jacob take care of me, whether it's physically while climbing mountains, making sure I'm taken care of when he isn't able to be around, and fixing our house nice for us, or emotionally when he won't let me not tell him what's wrong if I'm upset about something, or whatever it's called when I mention something someone did or said to me, and he gets aggravated with them for not treating me nice...these things thrill me! On my end, I love the feeling of wanting to help him in any way I can! I love when he takes care of me, and there's certainly no better way to feel like a treasured, cherished woman, than to have your guy trying his best (which is pretty darn good!) to take good care of you!

Ok, I got mushy. Sorry. ;) It happens.

When we got done climbing and got back to the car, he did tell me I looked like a wooly-bully. Is that how you'd spell that, I wonder? My hair was falling down something terrible (I didn't bother fixing it any other way than the fancy bun thing I'd done for church, since I didn't know we'd be mountain climbing!) and I did look pretty rough. He was just teasing me...he's awful with the teasing! I read somewhere a long time ago that if a guy teased you, it meant he liked you, so I guess I'll be ok with all the teasing. ;) There's a lot of playful banter that goes on when we're together, I'll tell you that much!

That'll wrap up my birthday post, I believe. Life today is back to normal...I worked in the strawberries again today. Dad asked me Thursday morning if I felt more achey when I woke up, seeing as how I'm getting to be old now. I said, yeah, my back hurt...but that was from sleeping on my stomach on my swayed mattress and working in the strawberries!

Gatlinburg, roller coasters, and more coming soon!