Home Again, Home Again

Hello friends. As I mentioned in my last post I had to be gone from the family for a few days earlier this week. Our attraction was hosting the attractions association that we belong to. It was a very nice but tiring few days. I was so glad to get back home.

I got home late Wednesday evening. Scruffy was so happy to see me. He did his little frantic running in circles dance around me that he always does when he is happy and excited. Even Molly came over to nudge against me. Of course all the kitties were very aloof because that’s just the way kitties are. And of course hubs was glad to see me. Although that could have been because he knew I would be relieving him of some of his animal tending duties. Hee hee.

What a great time we had on the trip. Lots of information to exchange with the other attractions, great ideas about how to deal with the ever changing times that we are dealing with right now. I always come back from these meetings feeling energized and ready to tackle whatever comes along. It’s good and bad knowing that our attraction faces the same issues as lots of others and we are not alone.

Monday afternoon was all meetings with a special guest speaker from the Tennessee Department of Tourism. Monday night we went to the Iron Works Grill that I mentioned a few weeks ago. This is where I had the amazing rainbow trout, mashed potatoes and fried okra. We had given the grill our menu almost a month ago. They ran out of the rainbow trout after only six people ordered it. They had no mash potatoes and they ran out of several of the desserts. I was really disappointed. The poor waitresses apologized profusely and it wasn’t their fault but I felt like someone sort of dropped the ball there. Especially since we had given them our choices a month before. I had the pulled pork barbecue this time and it was delicious. No matter what you eat there even if it isn’t the trout it is delicious. The setting is on Tellico river and it is beautiful. So this with a glass of wine made things a lot easier. Our group was great with all of it and they had a great time anyway. That’s what I love about this group.

Be sure to check out all the links I have listed below.

jTellico River
Dinner was delicious
Chilling by the river

I wanted to share with you some of the places we visited. We started out the second morning with an all day itinerary. Some of the highlights were Lost Sea, we did a cavern tour and underground boat ride. http://www.thelostsea.com

Tsali Notch Vineyard in Madisonville. http://www.tsalinotch.com This is a muscadine vineyard. We were able to taste the wines and juices and then do a tour of the vineyard and even pick muscadines from the vine and taste them.

We did a tour of the vineyard
Part of this vineyard is used for weddings. It is a beautiful setting.
I bought some of the wine and jelly.

Next we traveled to The Fort Loudoun State Historic Area. This is an old reconstructed British Fort http://www.fortLoudoun.com. You can actually see what the soldiers barracks and hospital looked like. It is a very interesting historical place. It reverted to the state parks in 1977. Along with touring the fort there is a museum, trails, picnic areas, fishing sites and places to launch your boat, kayak or canoe. It’s absolutely beautiful and one of my favorite places.

Beautiful Tellico Lake

Next we visited The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. When you visit this Cherokee Indian Museum you will learn about the man Sequoyah and creator of the Cherokee writing system. The museum is small but has so much history within it. http://www.Sequoyahmuseum.org

The last stop of the day was in Townsend where we had dinner at the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro. The appetizers, and drinks and meal was superb. I had the salmon and I tore into it before I got a picture. We also had a wonderful band that played for us. It was a beautiful setting in the woods with a fire pit and s’mores fixings at the fire pit. What a night and day!!! http://www.dancingbearlodge.com.

This bluegrass band was amazing

We got back to the hotel at 10:30 PM that night and we were exhausted. A fun but tiring day. The next day was meetings and then home. Well actually I did another Hobby Lobby stop on my way home to search for fall decorations. I found a few things and yes some more yarn.

It was so good to get back home. I think it’s good to venture out every now and then because it makes you realize just how special home is. I’m sitting here writing this and Scruffy is lying at my feet. Molly is in the living room cozied up next to Mark and Kitty Kitty has retired upstairs to find anywhere soft to sleep, she has a multitude of places. The outside kitties, well they are all curled up together outside on their blankies in the garage. It looks like one big fur ball out there. Ahhhhh my little family they are everything to me.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

May Days

Happy Memorial Day to you!!! I had to work today so no lake time or cook-outs for me but that is fine. That is not the reason we recognize Memorial Day. It is to take time to honor our fallen soldiers.

We have been having Whip-poor-will winter here in the south. If you missed my post describing the times of the different “winters” that we experience here in the south you can check out my blog post about them here. Whip-poor-will winter is usually around the end of May. It is when you first start hearing the whip-poor-wills late in the evening or early mornings. True to form Whip-poor-will winter arrived Friday morning and it was only about 45 degrees F. All weekend we enjoyed the cooler temps.

It is so hard to believe that May is coming to an end and June is here. Almost half of the year is gone already. Christmas will be here before you know it!! O.K. I will reign it in. I mentioned Christmas at work today and got a couple of angry glares. It’s not that I am rushing the seasons or anything but this year is marching right on by at an alarming rate.

I had a bit of a crazy week last week. I took my little mother in law out for a ride for the first time in almost a year and a half. She lives in an assisted living center and they have pretty much been on lockdown since March of 2020. We have been able to visit lately but only last week did they tell us that we could take her out of the facility. She always loved going to get a hamburger and take a ride. So that is what we planned for our first outing.

We planned the trip for Tuesday evening. It was about 90 degrees and blistering hot. I arrived at the center at around 4:30 to pick her up. It was a bit of a nightmare. We had to use her back door which involves using her walker on concrete and that really slows it up and her down. It also made her quite frustrated and hot with the stifling temps. We got to the car and I had trouble getting her into the car. It was almost like she had forgotten how to maneuver herself into the car. And she probably had, like I said it had been well over a year since we did this. After much sweating and praying we got her into the car. She didn’t like her seat adjustment and I told her I couldn’t change it until we got to the drive-in where we were getting a hamburger. Once we were there it took 30 minutes to get the burger. She did not want the car running while we ate so I turned it off and we sat in the evening sun while sweat dripped into places it shouldn’t have. After the burgers we went for a short ride. She just didn’t seem to enjoy it like she used to. It was disappointing and scary to realize just how much frailer she had gotten during quarantine. But we will plug along and try it differently next time. I am not sure what we will do different but if she wants to go we will make it work. She is 87 years old and if she wants a hamburger and a ride we will find a way.

Wednesday night we took some pictures of the “Flower Moon”. It was beautiful. The night sky was clear and for just a brief time the moon turned a pinkish color. Luckily it happened for us about 9:30 PM and we caught it just before going to bed. We also sent the drone up but not very good pictures with it.

Later in the week we had major internet issues at work. Our online ticketing went down and as one of my co-managers said, we were dead in the water. We finally got it resolved and all was o.k. but a very stressful day.

So when Saturday rolled around I was ready for some down time. I picked up groceries on my way home on Friday. I watched some movies and crocheted on the afghan I am working on. I did some laundry and me and the babies took some walks. It was wonderful. I finished up the weekend making a Birthday cake for my niece and baking some bread for co-workers and my nephew. Mark had to work all weekend so it was just me and the babies.

I think our rain gauge has seen better days but it is one that Mark’s dad used for years and years and we just can’t part with it.
My co-workers have come to love my sour dough bread and now expect it regularly. Ha Ha!!!

Have a great week and always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

Goodbye Winter

Can you believe it is spring of 2021? Remember this time last year when the pandemic was just starting to make a difference in our worlds? I think spring almost slipped by without notice. As many things did of course.

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts spring is definitely in the air. Trees are blooming, buds are popping out daily, the grass is getting greener and mowier. But I have to give winter it’s due diligence. Winter I love you. I love you for many reasons: I don’t have to bare a lot of this super frighteningly white skin. I feel more secure in layers. I can wear my stretchy pants and boots and I look somewhat stylish. I can pull a toboggan or hat over my staticky hair and it still looks fine. I can spend more time indoors, it is cold after all. Knitting is much more fun in the winter months when it is cold and you have yummy warm yarn resting on your lap and legs while you knit. Hot coffee and warm banana bread on a cold morning is just heavenly. Walks with the babies while I am bundled up and breathing the cold air is invigorating. I don’t sweat as much. I love wearing boots but in the south it is just too hot to wear boots all year long, winter is best for boots.

So you can see my love for winter is pure and true. I could go into some of the yucky winter things like icy roads, I’ll stay at home. Hibernation, I am the queen of that thank you very much. Boredom, I have never been bored in my life I can always find something to entertain me. Having to bundle up every time you go out, see the paragraph above and you will understand. No I can’t think of a lot of reasons to dislike winter.

Spring arrived yesterday with sunny skies and a slight breeze ruffling the trees. The air was soft and sweet like it is before the hot temps and humidity set in. It was a great day. I took the babies on a couple of walks and they seemed to enjoy being outside sniffing the grass and anything else they could plant their little noses into. It was so nice being outside and enjoying the sunshine and spring air.

So goodbye winter until we meet again and if you are from East Tennessee you know that could very well be next week, HA!!! It isn’t actually spring until we go through all the winters in the south. I know I have mentioned these a few times but here is a few that I swear by:

Redbud Winter – Mid-March to early April, when the redbud trees bloom.


Dogwood Winter – Mid to late April, when the dogwood trees bloom. Often a heavy frost falls in dogwood winter.


Blackberry Winter – Early to mid-May, when the blackberries are in full bloom. In the Tennessee mountains, this often coincides with the last frost of spring, which can kill new plantings on the farm.


Whippoorwill Winter – Mid- to late May, when the whippoorwills can first be heard in the twilight of evenings and before dawn.

There are a couple of others but these are the ones I grew up with. I would often hear my parents say its’ “Blackberry Winter, the black berries are blooming.” I knew that summer would soon be arriving but for a little while longer we would have to add an extra blanket on the bed.

My husband makes fun of me for believing in these different winters but that is what a lot of farmers use as a guide for planting different things. I can assure you they happen year after year. Who am I to question nature. Plus it gives me a little more of winter to enjoy. Now where did I put my sweater???

No matter the season,

Always remember,

Love your day your way!!!!

Making Fried Apple Pies

Happy Monday friends,

The weather here has been HOT!!! Temps have been in the upper 90’s with a heat index making it feel like it’s over 100 degrees!!!!

Oh what a perfect time for our air to go out. Yep, I came home from buying groceries on Saturday and heard Mark talking to someone on the phone. Turns out it was the man who services our heat and air unit. To tell you this man, Wayne, is wonderful would be such a gross understatement. And not just because he came out on a Saturday afternoon and serviced our unit but he has been there so many times for us, and for many of my family members.  First of all the unit was put in over 20 years ago when we built the house.  You know that most units these days don’t last that long. 

Wayne is not the type of repairman that will tell you that you need a new unit just so he can make some money. He is fair and honest. Anyway he had the air back on within two hours and I barely broke a sweat.

What does this have to do with making fried apple pies you may ask. Not really anything except if we hadn’t gotten the air back on I would not have been heating the stove for anything!!!

In all my days of cooking I have never made fried apple pies. WHAT??? I always wanted to try them. I don’t know if you follow Brenda Gantt on Facebook but she is a true southern cook from Alabama.  Check her out. I just love her.

So I went by Brenda’s recipe for the dough. All she uses is plain flour, buttermilk and solid crisco shortening, you know the white stuff in the tin can. My mama always had some when we were growing up.

Brenda doesn’t use much of a recipe so I watched her video on Facebook and went by that. Here is what I did:

I used 3 Granny Smith apples. I peeled them and  added about 3/4 of a cup of sugar, a half cup of water and sprinkled some cinnamon on top of the apples and cooked them down until they became soft and mushy and syrupy.  I used a heavy sauce pan. 

I put some plain flower in a mixing bowl and added 1/2 cup of the solid shortening and some buttermilk. I didn’t measure the buttermilk I just kept adding the buttermilk until I could form a small ball of dough. I then divided the dough into several pieces and sprinkled them with flower. I rolled them out, using a dough roller, in small circles about 4 inches in diameter. The dough cannot be sticky. Add a little flour to keep it from sticking.

The cooking time in the oil will vary depending on what kind of pan you use. The cast iron pan took 2-3 minutes on each side. They cook really fast.

They turned out really well. Mark had his with ice cream. I took what was left over to work and my fellow employees made short work of those.

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I love using this Cast Iron Cookware by Lodge. It is perfect for frying.
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Granny Smith apples are the best for these pies.
The apples tasted yummy I could have eaten them just like this. Actually I did.
I added powdered sugar to these.

I hope you have good luck with your fried apple pies.

Always remember love your day your way!!!