Category Archives: Tennessee



A beautiful sign of spring is the blooming of apple trees. I have never seen the blooming trees in Washington, D.C. (in person) but I would guess it is a sight to see. I will have to settle for the blooming apple trees at The Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge, TN.

This quaint but impressive orchard has been a family favorite with the “world of all things apple” — apple pie, caramel apples, apple cider, plus a candy kitchen with tons of different kinds, including: dark chocolate almond clusters (my personal favorite) and taffy (my daughters one-and-only want, peppermint!) so need I say more — apple Mecca!

candied apple

Our visit today was short, our usual on the way out-of-town stop. We never go back home without our treats for the kids. No matter how old they get, it is still expected. But we spoiled them with that one! As a parent, it is comforting to know they still want that small treat. My boys love caramel apples the most, nuts and without or both, they are happy and easy to please.

As time ticks away the kids get older, mature, finally begin to show signs of what awesome people are to come. I knew they would tun out winners. We raised them right, no matter what propaganda they have tried to fabricate! It is their job to try every way in the world to defy us. Kids will be kids ya know. But I see the edge of the rainbow. I see a glimpse of what is to come and it is so much fun!

Just as the apple blossoms return every year, kids eventually get a clue, begin to evolve into the people we know they can be.

Thanks Lord for allowing me to see the day it happens. Too sweet. Sweet as apple pie!

Ice Cream makes me nervous!

Maybe I am the only one that seems to have problems when eating an ice cream cone!?!

The dilemma is when you ask the soft serve ice cream server to only give you about half the size he usually does and he stares at you like just asked for it free! What is so weird? Why would it matter to him? Saves money for the store. I only want a smaller amount of ice cream and NO I don’t want to reduce the price! I don’t mind paying the full amount. I’m just incapable of eating that much ice cream! Silly as it sounds but, I can’t!

Even though I am so happy to be back in East TN and, even more, the beautiful Cades Cove Park which is a “loop” that’s very scenic. 20120323-182638.jpgAlso fun to do on a hay wagon but, on this day we were in a car. After our drive we go into the park store with all the sweet souvenirs, Smokey Bear and all, and buy the best one of all — soft-serve Mayfield brand ice cream. Only the best, I must say and the cones were HUGE. More than I could eat (believe it or not!) and I just wanted less, no tricks Sir, just can not eat it all.

After the funny looks, he was kind enough to back off a bit though it was still too much, we go outside to bird watch and to my joy — a red-headed woodpecker, one of my favorite birds. They could not be cuter! I do have a history with these birds. We had one that lived in the trees for a season at our home and I enjoyed watching him so much.

So the trouble of keeping my cone from melting all over my hand while attempting to watch the cool bird was more than I could stand! Ugh!! Silly Ice cream! Makes me so nervous trying to eat fast enough to keep up with the incessant melting.

Geeez we can send a man to the moon and we can’t make ice cream give us a break! Drip, drip, slurp!

And the eventual squishing of the excess ice cream out of the cone — wasting good ice cream, which was my goal to avoid to begin with! Let’s just be real. The cone was my goal in the first place. The ice cream was only the means to an end. So after several brain freezes and nervous moments of OCD fears of the chocolate drips ending up on the front of my shirt (bad thing while away from home (a limited amount of clothing packed!) the woodpecker left us. My shirt was still clean and I finally got to eat the cone.

Onward for more fun on our vacation weekend! And more opportunity for nervousness!20120324-185504.jpg! Ha ha!

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Peyton ….who needs ya!!

Not that I am any big sports fan and anyone that knows me can attest to that but, really Peyton? You have to know that all of Tennessee or at least the die-hard University of TN (GO VOLS!!!) fans were praying and fasting (which is ridiculous, btw)for their boy to come back home. Really, would you be surprised?

I lived in the Knoxville area for more than twenty-six years, I married an East TN boy, a die-hard UT fan, tried and true. I was there when you splashed on the scene to bring the VOLS home with victories….there was nobody like you. You were everywhere. We couldn’t turn on the television without enduring those sweet St. Mary’s Hospital commercials with you and the Nuns. Very quaint and endearing. You were the face of Knoxville at that time with the exception of Pat Head Summit, the VOLS Women’s BBall coach, the best one ever no less! And might I point out…hasn’t left us! Two words…LOY-AL!

So when you leave the Colts and go shopping around for a new team and you actually come on over and tease us this way….well that was just mean. Nashville, which is where we live now….and was my hometown area, was all giddy over the prospect of our Tennessee VOL hometown hero coming back to finish out here. Literally the place was all a Twitter! and Facebook, TV news reports, news papers and etcetera! etcetera! etcetera! as Willy Wonka would say! Once again, PEYTON FEVER! UGH!

My own dear saintly husband…the dyed in the wool UT fan, the man who made me denounce Vanderbilt before he would marry me because, I was a VOLS fan NOW……….this poor man who works hard and has few carnal things he asks for, walks in the door today…his head hung low, barely able to take one more step……crushed in defeat!

“Honey what’s wrong” …I say in my sweet loving wife voice. He being a preacher I thought…… maybe he lost his favorite Bible or one our church folks were sick, or at least ……he lost his golf match (and I was sooo glad he went, good exercise and vitamin D) that he just came home from for which is the first time he has played in months and months. A big fat NO!

NO Peyton it’s all your fault! You in one single decision, selfishly and without any concern for all the fans who loyally have followed you “Through the Years”…….(picture in your head if you will…Kenny Rogers singing song by same name, for drama), Peyton you had the option to pay us all back in one fail swoop but NO! Selfishness is so ugly and I hope when it snows so deep where you are going you remember our nice mild winters here in the great State ofTennessee.

Sure Peyton, life will go on, my precious husband of thirty years will live to love another player, and as I comfort him in the sweet caring loving way that all who know me will be assured I will just repeat these words…….

Peyton…who needs ya!


I don’t think our uniform looks very good on you anyways!


This was written in fun….I really could care less….just saying!

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PIE not PI…..!

FoodFriday #17: Cracker Barrel - Old Country Store
FoodFriday #17: Cracker Barrel - Old Country Store (Photo credit: inju)

In respect of PIE day I wanted to relay my favorite kind… It has to be apple! To be exact I only like the kind that is with pre cooked apples…not the kind that has been sliced fresh and layered in the pie shell with no goopie sugary sauce like stuff, it needs all the mushy flavorful cooked apple part. I am very picky about this fact as if anyone had ever wondered. It is a warm and yummy, cinnamon filled, crusty luscious goodness that is always first on my list of great desserts. I am not a huge dessert girl but if I do indulge it would be pie……I really like pie the best of all dessert! My mom made chocolate and coconut and lemon(3 separate pies!) that were to die for so it is hard to pick. I have the hidden recipes that are a family treasure, our inheritance. I learned to make my husbands dads favorite which was his moms specialty , custard pie. Not a fan but it did smell good! Once again … Cinnamon and nutmeg! A lady who was a family friend made a key lime pie that I shamelessly begged for whenever I could( funerals etc) and then when I delivered my only daughter, 24 years ago mind you, so good i still remember it, a lady from our church made me a Boston Creme Pie, oh my Lord! Not really pie but still as dreamy! LOVED it! My second son loves my fudge pie, not as good as an old restaurant that was in Nashville a ton of years ago, Ireland‘s but pretty dang good! I loved that place, the best little steak n biscuits ever and fudge pie of course. Yep, I would say I love pie, even cobbler will do, as long as I get a lot if crust…. Oh shout out to The Cracker Barrel too, they have a chocolate cobbler that is crazy good, I wouldn’t believe it but my husband made me try it, sold! Why do I doubt him? So in honor of PIE day…..I salute you, the real and only Pie I can understand!

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