Honky Tonk Girl

A Look at Our Week 

I’ve put off doing this week’s blog for the last couple days. I just didn’t feel like blogging in my blah mood. But if I only blog about the positive aspects of my life that just doesn’t seem like the picture I want to paint for the world. That just seems a little fake to me and goodness knows there are enough fake people in this world! It’s not all peachy and rosey over here in the mountains everyday! Now granted, if the world outside of those mountains didn’t exist and never showed itself it just may be. But that’s not an option unfortunately! I have problems and stresses that can take quite a toll on me at times. Mommin’ doesn’t seem to get any easier after 18.

My hope is always that the good days outweigh the bad ones and I strive each and everyday to not let the bad days dampen the good ones. To quote one of my new favorite songs “Rain doesn’t change the sun.” I work hard to keep the rain away from my sun. I try not to focus on the negatives and the issues but instead work on finding the solutions and getting through whatever it may be. I try hard to keep the “Waaa-Waaa’s” away and not wallow too much in my own self-pity. Life is a roller coaster, bumps happen, learn from them, fix them and move on!

It’s going to be a stressful week around here. It’s a solo week as well, my guy is working. We will meet up again on Monday and hopefully all will be sunny and bright by then.

Hiking Adventures

We hiked up Hebron Falls in Julian Price Memorial Park in Blowing Rock, N.C. The hike was relatively easy, the hardest part being the climb back up from the falls. I sat on a rock and ate my apple with my feet soaking in the water while my guy jumped from rock to rock to see more of the falls. We ate blackberries fresh from the bush and watched a snake basking in the sun. Well, he watched, I ran. Then we visited the Moses Cone House and are planning to return soon to do the trails there.

House Hunting News

What?! Actually something to post in this section?? Well, not really. My sister, mother and niece came to town this weekend. We traveled together to Johnson City, TN to watch my oldest niece dance with her college dance team. While they were in town I gave them the grand tour and showed them several of the houses and land we have looked at. They picked out several houses that they loved (that’s the easy part, of course these were not for sale!) We also drove by a new listing that me and my guy had been interested in, but were not pleased with the location and close proximity to people! There is also an older listing that the price keeps dropping on, we may have to revisit that one again soon. When the price goes down low enough we may be able to get past why we marked is as a no originally.

Traveling Times

So, a couple of months ago my guy asked if I would take him to Nashville to save the corps flight money and save him the hassle of having to fly. Of course, I said yes! Anything to help out! (And to check Nashville off my list of must see cities to visit!) We spent an amazing day and a half in Nashville. I was checking boxes left and right!

Now, my guy, he could care less about Nashville. He’d been there many times and had never visited any of my must see places! Old school country music he gets pretty much. He loves Johnny Cash and when I played old school country on the 5 hour drive to Nashville, he recognized several songs and artists. (Thanks for that Mama Mary!) This is just one of those times that one of us does something that they would have never done on their own but they don’t hesitate to do it with the other. I asked him several times if he was having fun or had enjoyed X. His reply was always, “I’ve enjoyed watching you and seeing your excitement and passion.” ❤ He’s the best.

And oh man, I was all up in my feelings on this trip! I grew up with the country legends. I can remember roller skating around the living room pretending I was Daisy Duke working at the Boar’s Nest while playing 8 tracks of Kenny, Dolly, Loretta & Crystal Gayle. It was amazing to think I was standing and walking on those same streets that they had been on at one time. Now granted 1,000,0000,000 others have walked there since then, but I could still feel their presence. Especially my Loretta Lynn. I have loved Loretta for as long as I can remember. I even rewrote “Coal Miner’s Daughter” for my Daddy’s birthday one year. I may or may not have had a tear in my eye going through her Hall of Fame exhibit.

We did most of the Nashville must do’s. Now, I say “most” because you can never just do them all, and if I say “all” then the chances of ever going back there decrease. We did an Opry show, walked around the Ryman, did a Nashville bus tour, went honky-tonkin’ (yee-haw), went to Ernest Tubb’s record shop, saw music row, toured the hall of fame, and walked through the country music walk of fame. And of course being in Nashville, I discovered new, awesome music acts!

What’s for Dinner? 

Tuna melts! Perfect meal on a hot summer day after hiking! Served on a thick tomato slice (unfortunately not from my plants just yet.) And cherry tomatoes from the local farmer’s market. We visited during their special Tuesday afternoon sale and were schooled on all the different types of beans!

And cookies! Perk of living 20 minute from a college town is that you can get cookies and ice cream at 2 a.m. !

Sappy Selfies

Have a great week! xoxoxo

Back Online!

A Look at Our Week

Well, we are plugged back in! Our internet is now working and all is right with the world once again. It really wasn’t that difficult not having internet after we solved the no phone communication issue. I’m not ready to walk away from the internet all together like my guy is, but it was nice to learn I could survive without it for a few days. Google had to have been the thing I missed the most. It’s amazing how dependent I’ve become on my searches to answer my questions throughout the day.

So happy to have my guy back home again! Even if it is just for five days! We are much better when we are together! We celebrated our reunion with a movie night. There are two new movies that just came out that we wanted to see. Equalizer 2 and Mama Mia 2. Equalizer’s showing time worked into our schedule better so it won this time. Very good movie! Denzel is the man!

I filled my time while he was away with working on scrapbooks. I am now done with 2011! I will be caught up before you know it! One positive about being so far behind in my scrapbooking is getting to relive the memories as I do each page. Years later those moments seem a little more special than they did at the time they happened. Especially when those memories include special people who are no longer with us. I’ve shed a few tears as I’ve worked, and laughed a lot. I’ll send Cutler a pic of what I’m working on every now and then and he always has a good reaction.

I’ve also been battling with critters while my guy was away. We have had unwanted visitors! A mouse! EEK! I don’t do well with critters. We did manage to catch one before my guy left, but still saw traces of another one. I have now installed those plug in super sonic mouse repellent thingies. They play a high pitched sound that the critters do not like and it causes them to pack up and leave. Please don’t tell me that they don’t work. I need to believe that they are working! My guy has done well with hiding his skepticism about them! And … we have not caught another mouse and no longer see any signs of them. So I win! (this round)

And I have even worked a few days! I am working out my routine and getting back on track with the working. I still enjoy it and all the different topics that I get to cover. An interview with Judy Blume?! … I think so!

Hiking Adventures

I use the AllTrails app to look up trails in near our area. I had found an easy, little over 2 mile trail around a lake nearby and we finally had the opportunity to go check it out.

On Sunday we slept in and when we finally were up and preparing to plan our day there was a threat of rain so we decided to just walk on a creekside trail right outside of town that we have done several times before. This time we did the trail we have done previously but extended it by finishing the trail on the other side. Here is a picture of my guy checking out the small waterfall trying to find it’s source and how everything works. I love watching as he tries to figure these kinds of things out.



Traveling Times

On Saturday we went to Marion, VA. There was an arts and crafts festival at Hungry Mother State Park that we had planned on attending. It was a fun day, the forecast had shown rain for most of the day but had changed before we left Saturday afternoon. Lots of arts and crafts, I’ve been eyeing those soup bowl cozy’s for awhile but could not find any in a pattern that I liked. I’m going to have to convince Mom to make me some! We found some new candle tarts to try out and kettle corn and pork rinds. There was lots of “fair food” to choose from and some great bands as well. The snake guy was there doing a presentation. My guy was loving that, I watched from a distant. He did go up after the show and asked the guy to identify the snake he had seen on his last big hike. He immediately recognized it and identified it as a timber rattlesnake. He said there are only two types of snakes we need to worry about in this area and this is one of them! Of  course my guy found it!

After we were finished at Hungry Mother my guy drove through downtown Marion to just check things out and we ran into another festival happening there. We love festivals! This was right in the middle of downtown Marion and had two big stages at each end of the road and tons of food trucks set up along the way. There was a chili cook off and an eating contest as part of the festival. We listened to The Church Sisters & The Hogslop String Band. Both were awesome! We also toured the Lincoln Theater and learned about it’s history and refurbishing. Marion is an awesome little town! The rain finally moved in and we headed back home. We have plans to see the Hogslop String Band again in October.

What’s for Dinner?

Green peppers grown on my back deck! That’s what’s for dinner! We had homemade pizzas and tossed salads for dinner, and I added one of the green peppers from my pot! They are not that big, but tasted very good. I’ve had to get tomato cages for the tomato plants, even the bad plant has produced a couple of small tomatoes so far. Both plants look a little puny right now, I think they may have gotten too much water. We will see how they turn out though!

Sappy Selfies

Hiking selfies are the best selfies of all! Love having my guy home, home home! This is an exciting summer for drum corps, but I will be glad when he is home to stay! (And this “new look”, the beard, it’s going away right now as I am typing!  xoxoxo



Life Unplugged

A Look at Our Week 

We returned home from our trip to discover we had no internet service. Our cell service does not have coverage out our house so no internet also means no phone service. How ironic that this had to happen on the first time Cutler was spending the night with us! He is a live streaming, surfing, snapchatting addict! But somehow he managed to survive the night. We headed into Boone, N.C. for dinner and entertainment. While in town we called our internet provider and learned that it would take 10 days for a technician to come and investigate the issue. The joys of country living I guess. Once we were back home we spent the evening looking at scrapbooks and watching a movie and then made a quick midnight dash to town to get up to date on our social media accounts.

I can live without internet (yes, I hear the shocking gasps falling over the crowd!) but no cell service was an issue especially for 10 days. So the next morning we headed to Best Buy in Bristol, TN to see what our options might be. We decided our cheapest, quickest solution was to get a Verizon prepaid phone and a monthly service card. We have heard from other people that Verizon does get service at our house so eventually we will make that change permanent. Now this prepaid phone is straight from old school early 90’s. Flip phone style with no keyboard, I’m talking tapping ghi to find your needed letters. We headed to Mellow Mushroom to have pizza and refreshments while setting up the phone. Wow! What a process! 2 hours and many slices later we were set up. I was worried that we might not be speaking to each other once we were done but the magic of pizza and beer helped us along. And I must admit, not having internet hasn’t been as awful as one might think. It’s actually been rather nice, I’m finding plenty of other things to do with my time.


Hiking Adventures

We had three days together before my guy had to head back to work again. I long for our crazy, busy life to slow down just a little bit! Come on August! One of our days were spent apart! My guy went on a 15 mile hike while I went on my regular three mile hike on the trail in town then headed to Panera Bread to do some online work that had to be done. Now my guy goes on these solo hikes regularly, usually I have a general idea of where he might be going. I might know the name of the trail he is going on. This time he texted me and gave me specific location of where he was going and what his plan was. It caused me to pause for a moment and think, “Wow, I need to know this info every time.  Anything could happen while he’s out there and I’d have no idea where to look for him.” Then a couple of hours later I get a text from him saying, “OMG! A bear cub was just within three feet of me. It ran up a tree then jumped down and ran the other way.” He again told me his exact location and which direction he was heading. I fought the urge to text every 2.3 seconds asking if he had been eaten by the Mama bear yet. He arrives safely home and is excited to show me all the pictures from his beautiful mountain hike. The video of what appeared to be a rattlesnake on the path was more than I bargained for. My worry level while he is on these hikes will definitely be heightened now, and the hikes are only going to be getting longer. He has several 20+ hikes planned.


We did hike together on one of our days. We went back to a state park where we had recently done a summit trail. There were two smaller trails at the park that we wanted to complete. We were under the assumption that they were smaller trails. We had planned on doing them both on this day. One is listed as a Kid Trail, maybe that’s where we should have started. We had both even said after we were done with these two small trails we just might do the summit trail again.

Well, we start down this trail. Yes, down, now in hiking down only means one thing. When you go down you are eventually at some point going to have to come back up! And this trail just kept going down and down and down. We were unsure how long it was supposed to be, but I kept turning around and looking back up and up and up. We finally came to a stopping place, my guy went on ahead for a little bit and I turned around and started back up. I was really rough on myself, it was hard and I felt terrible. I had decided I must be the most out of shape and fattest person around to be having this much trouble. When my guy caught up with me, I learned he was having difficulty as well. Nowhere near the difficulty I was having, and sometimes I think he agrees to keep me from feeling bad about myself, but he was slow moving as we finished our uphill climb. I was too scared to try the Kid Trail after that, and we both laughed at the thought of going back up to the summit trail again.

Traveling Times

Our travels would leave us solo once again. On Thursday, we drove to Seymour, TN to see the Bluecoats rehearsal, and so my guy could report to work. Every time I am around this activity I am taken aback by the commitment of the kids involved. This was a hot day. Sitting on the sidelines I found myself mumbling every 2.3 seconds, “It’s hot!” Looking out on the field, I never heard one complaint from any of the members. In fact it was the opposite, whenever they would get an instruction of what was going to happen next they would cheer. I imagine myself laying down and crying at the thought of doing something one more time in this heat.


This rehearsal was a little different. This was the first time the Bluecoats had been to this area so the rehearsal site was full of spectators watching them do their thing. Lots of young band kids. Again, I was taken aback to see these young kids watching this group working and sweating their butts off and then see those young faces light up and imagine them telling their parent that had brought them, “I want to do that some day.” It’s always a great experience to be involved in the drum corps community.

This was also a show night and my family was getting to come to the show! They enjoy watching what my guy does and are always full of questions and respect for the hard work involved. This show was my first show of the year and it was mind blowing! Go Blooo!

After the show my guy headed to his bus and I stayed with the fam. Our family reunion on my Dad’s side was on Saturday. We have the reunion at my aunt and uncles lake house every year and it is always lots of fun. My Dad absolutely loved any time the family all got together. He was always the life of the party and kept things going. It was great seeing everyone again and my sis and I showed the younger girls how it’s done while tubing. They were all quite impressed.

Our graduating seniors are always recognized during the reunion. Unfortunately, Cutler was not able to come this year because of work obligations. Always fun trying to load the car back up after one of these trips!

Now I’m home alone, just me and my cows and horse waiting to pick up  my guy on Thursday! I can’t wait!

Sappy Selfies

Here is one from our night out last week. We went to see a local Barter theater actor in his production named, “The Book of Mamaw”. It was a wonderful story and a great night out.



Happy Birthday America!

A Look At Our Week

We spent most of our week in Ohio with my guys family. We had a wonderful time catching up with family and friends! Our diets and exercise routines were most definitely forgotten about during our days of visiting … and eating and eating and eating! I must stay home and get myself back on track very, very soon!

Gardening Update

On the one day I was actually home this week I was able to check out my new peppers and tomatoes! One tomato plant is not producing at all, I have been worried about this one from the start. The other tomato plant & pepper plant are getting quite full & big!



Traveling Times

Our 4th of July was spent with my guys family. Great food and company and an awesome fireworks display! Oh, and I can’t forget the best mojito I’ve ever tasted mixed by my guys grill master niece! My contribution to the festivities were my red, white & blue cookies!


We also visited a couple of my guys close friends while we were in town. We had lunch with a high school friend and her family at her father’s house. Her father is an incredible cook and we were presents with the most delicious, amazing apple pie I have ever tasted! We heard that there were leftover pies from the 4th in the fridge, and we also shared a slice of sour cherry pie. Amazing! All of his pies are made with fruit from his garden.  And homemade wine as well! We are not big wine drinkers but it was very good! I am now on a mission to perfect my pie baking skills!


Friday’s beautiful 70 degrees forecast caused us to not be able to turn down the opportunity to go to a Cleveland Indians baseball game. This was my first professional sporting event! What a wonderful experience it was! Club seats with an unlimited buffet! (As I mentioned, we ate all week long!) I left with all the appropriate Indians attire, shirt and hat and a very full stomach! And the Indians won! Another great fireworks display followed the game.


Our week long food trip would not have been complete without a stop at Skyline Chili on our way out of Ohio this morning!


And now we are back at my Mom’s to check in on her and pick up my guys car & my son. Mom is finally starting to recover and feel better. Hopefully her improvements will continue! Tomorrow we are back to Mountain City, but only for a few days then I have to send my guy back to the Bluecoats! It’s mind blowing that it is already the second week off July!

Sappy Selfies

Oh, and it was apparently International Kissing Day this week so I will have to share a Kissy pic here as well!


Have a great week!! XOXO

A Week of Recuperation

A Look At Our Week

We had another unplanned week apart this week! 😦 My sister was on vacation with her family so I had planned on spending part of the week with Mom while she recovered from her hospital stay. My brother ended up leaving town for part of the week so I was on duty until my sister returned! Her recovery has been slow this time with ups and downs and good days and bad days.

I took my role as dietician and activities director very seriously! Lots of cooking and eating this week! I dread stepping on that scale when I get home! Mom was quite impressed with my cooking skills as I shared some of our favorite dinners with her. One evening she asked if I had ever fixed shrimp creole, I told her I had not. I knew this was one of her favorites so I hit Pinterest for a recipe and we had shrimp creole one night for dinner. She loved it and was so happy I fixed it!


As far as our activities, when Mom was having a good day I would try to get her out of the house even if just for a drive. We had to keep check on my sisters dogs so that was a daily outing.

Mom is a big movie watcher and we kept the local Redbox in business this week! My brother keeps her a recent movie collection to watch here as well. We watched several based on a true story movies and those are always good and educational. I learned about fighting forest fires, being a horse soldier and stopping a terrorist attack.

I was glad that I was able to be here this week and spend the time with Mom. For the most part we did just fine together! But I have to admit it sure was nice to see my sister today!


What’s for Dinner?

Mom was amused that I took pictures of our dinners every night lol! My guy came to visit for a couple of nights. I had made a batch of his favorite cookies, chocolate chip with peanut butter M&M’s. I think they may be Mom’s favorite now too! We had pork tenderloin with veggie medley while he was here and homemade calzones with tossed salad. He also took us to lunch at a cute little deli down the street!


My brother and brother-in-law joined us for dinner one night for sausages with peppers. When my sisters family came home from vacay I had both my nieces favorite meals ready and waiting for them. The youngest niece loves Ruben casserole. She is always asking for it. I do not like it at all and do not normally fix things I do not like but for her I made an exception! The oldest niece asked for hamburger pie. We were raised on hamburger pie and tuna noodle casserole!  I also had crab cakes that were already on our menu. So we had quite the welcome home buffet!

Hiking Adventures

No hiking for me this week! I did try to walk the neighborhood when I could. Getting out for a little me time each day was good therapy! And I felt a little better about all of the calories we were taking in!

Traveling Times

Next stop: O-H-I-O! We will be spending the 4th Holiday with my guys family and I can’t wait for all of the fun, food and festivities! Then back to Moms to pick up Cutler who will be spending the week at church camp. And then it will once again be time for my guy to return to work! We have realized we have spent more time apart since our move/my retirement than we have together! This needs to change! I’m almost ready to volunteer to work the food truck to be able to go on tour with him! ALMOST!

Crafting Fun

On one of Mom’s good days we went to Hobby Lobby. While pushing Mom up & down aisles we ended up on the cross stitch aisle. Back in my pre-child life I used to cross stitch all the time. I have often doubted that I would be able to do it now with my old lady eyes. But I bought a cheap simple kit to try it out and see how it went. It was something to fill my time at least. I completed my project in the first evening! Maybe choosing a white on white project wasn’t the smartest idea, but I did it! Not perfect by any means, but Mom has it proudly displayed in her living room!


I also worked on teaching myself to crochet while I had so much down time. I purchased an instruction book, but find my YouTube tutorials easier to follow and understand. Mom gave me an assortment of needles and yarn and off I went. It’s tricky, and I do not have the hang of it yet, but I think I can get there with practice and more researching!


Sappy Selfies

Here are a couple from my guys visit! Can’t wait to get life back to normal!

Have a great week! XOXO