The Dog Days Of Summer

Well the Dog Days of Summer end tonight. When I was a kid I heard my parents and grandparents talking about the Dog Days of Summer. It would be really hot and they would say “oh this is nothing we still have to get through Dog Days”.

I always thought that dog days had something to do with a dog and it does just not the hound dog variety I was thinking of. Dog Days are from July 3 to August 11 each year.

The phrase “dog days” is a reference to Sirius, the Dog Star. During the “Dog Days” period, the Sun occupies the same region of the sky as Sirius, The brightest star visible from any part of Earth. Sirius is a part of the constellation Canis Major, The Greater Dog. The heat is due to the earth’s tilt at this time. Source Farmer’s Almanac

In the summer, Sirius rises and sets with the Sun. On July 23rd, specifically, it is in conjunction with the Sun, and because the star is so bright, the ancient Romans believed it actually gave off heat and added to the Sun’s warmth, accounting for the long stretch of hot weather. They referred to this time as “dog days”. Dog Days are from July 3 to August 11 each year 20 days before and 20 days after this alighment of Sirius with the Sun. Source Farmer’s Almanac

Ancient people often believed that this was a time of drought, bad luck, and unrest, when dogs and men would be driven mad by the heat. I know I have felt that way a few times. And even though “Dog Days’ officially end today here in the south we will still have hot hot temps and high humidity which makes the heat even hotter and stickier.

Since I have been recording the temperature every day for my temperature blanket I thought it would be interesting to show you just how the temps here have been. These are all Fahrenheit:

July 3, 88. July 23, 93
July 4, 95. July 24, 87
July 5, 90. July 25, 85
July 6, 90. July 26, 86
July 7, 88. July 27, 87
July 8, 95. July 28, 85
July 9, 85. July 29, 81
July 10, 85. July 30, 84
July 11, 86. July 31, 83
July 12, 88. August 1, 75
July 13, 84. August 2, 90
July 14, 90. August 3, 90
July 15, 92. August 4, 85
July 16, 90. August 5, 88
July 17, 88. August 6, 86
July 18, 85. August 7, 88
July 19, 87. August 8, 88
July 20, 87 August 9, 84
July 21, 88. August 10, 85
July 22, 89. August 11, 82

I always checked the temperature around 1:00-2:00 PM and this gave me a fairly accurate reading for that day. You can see that the “Dog Days” haven’t been very bad at all this year. I think once or twice it got close to 100 degrees in the early evening but that is all. And as I said we could be in for even hotter weather I have often known August and September to be very hot and sticky here in East Tennessee.

My mama always said you could get an infection easier during dog days. I remember if we ever got a scrape or cut or Lord forbid stepped on a nail we were sure to get an infection if it was during “Dog Days.” Is this just a myth? in 2009 a study was done in Finland to test this theory to see if the rate of infection was higher during Dog Days. The myth was actually found to be true. I guess my mama knew what she was talking about.

Old-timers believed that rainfall on Dog Days was a bad omen. You may have heard this little poem:
Dog Days bright and clear
Indicate a happy year,
But when accompanied by rain,
For better times, our hopes are vain

The old Farmer’s Almanac, 1817

You probably knew how the name Dog Days originated but if not now you do. I wonder what Cat Days would be like?

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

A Crazy Week And A Trip to Nashville

Happy Tuesday friends. Today was Nashville day when Mark and I go to Vanderbilt Medical Center for his four month check up. This is to keep an eye on his transplanted kidney. Everything was great!!! We made the trip in the usual eight or nine hours. We leave out early in the morning around 5:00 AM and travel approximately four hours to Nashville, see the doctor, get blood work and drive back home. But more on that trip in a minute.

It seems like almost every week I say “wow!!! what a crazy week this has been” well here we go again.

Last Monday night my little mother in law had a heart attack. She pretty much scared the crap out of all of us. When you are 88 years old everything that happens can be a life changing experience. As I have mentioned before my maw in law lives in an assisted living village. A nurse from the village called my husband on his way home from work and said she had had an episode and wasn’t acting like herself. Her vitals were off and they had called an ambulance by the time Mark got there. She spent most of the night in the ER and then was put in a room in ICU. She was very confused. By Thursday she had been moved to a regular room. She is almost 89 years old so surgery was not really an option. The doctors decided to treat her with medication. We were afraid for awhile that she might not be able to go back and live at the Assisted Living Village. The residents there have to be able to do most things for themselves. But after a few days it seems as though minimal damage was caused by the heart attack and on Friday she was moved to a nursing facility where she will have therapy and then hopefully, if all goes well, she will return to the village. She is much more coherent than she was last week and can’t wait to get back to her room at the village. She told me to tell the village to hold her room she is coming back!!!

We celebrated her 88th birthday in November so she is almost 89 years old.

When you work in tourism you know that July is just the busiest month of the year. You look forward to the great numbers but also dread the long, never ending days. It is mind numbing. We have been so busy at work and still very short staffed. We are counting the days until fall, or at least the end of July. I usually do something special for our team members during the last week of July. We call it our Goodbye July celebration. We have something special every day during the week. Last year we had pizza day, ice cream sundaes, and lots of other things. I have been so busy with everything else this week and then taking today off to go to Nashville. I have some catching up to do.

The weekend was good and my sister and I met up with some of our cousins from Texas. They were in Tennessee for a memorial for my cousin’s husband. We all went out to eat afterwards along with some of our Tennessee cousins and we had a great time. Later that night we took a friend out to eat for her birthday.

On Sunday Mark and I visited his mom and decided to eat out, which we rarely do anymore, it seems like we get take out and eat it at home but we don’t make it out to eat a lot.

So a good but busy week and weekend.

Even with all the extra weekend eating I am down 20 pounds. WHOOOO HOOOO!!!!! I will have more on that adventure on Thursday’s blog. I am calling it an adventure because I just hate saying journey. It is not a weight loss journey I am going to make it an adventure!!!!

So back to today when we ventured to Nashville for Mark’s appointment. I had to get up at 3:30 AM to get everything going and all the babies fed and taken care of. We left around 5:15 and surprisingly traffic was not bad. I always drive over and Mark drives back. I am listening to an audio book by Jennifer Weiner and it is so good. I listened to it almost all the way over. We stop on the way back and have breakfast. But today we had another little adventure. Have you ever been to a Buc-ee’s? I think they are mostly in the southern states. Buc-ee’s is sort of like a gas station, truck stop, convenience store etc etc on steroids. It is huge!!!! So a Buc-ee’s just opened in Crossville Tennessee which is about halfway to Nashville for us. We decided to stop on the way back and check it out. Just being newly opened it was packed. If you are a traveler and see one of these stores you should definitely check it out it has everything you could want for a stop. There are several different foods to choose from, books, shirts drinks and amazingly clean bathrooms. Also there are probably fifty gas pumps. We had a good time checking it out.

I had to pass quickly by the fudge counter because I wanted all of it.
The barbecue smelled amazing!!!
It was very crowded
Even snacks for your doggos.

We didn’t buy anything at Buc-ee’s but we did go next door to the Dairy Queen and get our usual chocolate dipped, vanilla ice cream cone because sometimes you just have to splurge.

How are things going in your neck of the woods?

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!

A Quick Trip To Bristol TN/VA

Hello friends a recap of last week’s trip to Bristol TN/VA. I had hoped to get a post out during the week about my trip but it just didn’t happen.

First of all I hope everyone had a happy Mother’s Day. I have no human children but I have definitely mothered many through the years. I think mothers come in many different forms. I received a precious message yesterday from a former employee that I still keep in touch with after many years. He wished me a Happy Mother’s Day and said he always thought of me as someone he respected and could come to for guidance and that I was a mom in his life. That truly made my day. It is amazing how just a few words can mean so much. My own mama has been gone for nineteen years and I have to tell you she was the best Mama in the world!!!!! We were best friends and I miss her every single day.

Last week I spent a few days at a meeting in the Bristol Tennessee & Bristol Virginia area with our Southern Highlands Attraction group. The two states are very close and there is a spot on the street where you can stand in both states at the same time. I did however almost get run over doing this once so if you try that be very careful. I am sure the locals hate this area. My meeting was actually in Johnson City but we spent the entire day Tuesday in Bristol.

We started the meeting Monday in Johnson City about a two and a half hour drive for me. I left early Monday morning so I wouldn’t have too many nights away from hubs and the fur babies. We met at the beautiful Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site. If you missed my Wordless Wednesday post I posted a lot of pictures of the site it is beautiful with so much history. You can check out the post here.

Just look at these beautiful yellow Irises

Our meeting ended about 4:00 and I headed to the hotel where we were staying. It was only a couple of miles from Tipton-Haynes. The Carnegie Hotel is a beautiful historic hotel. It is located in the heart of Johnson City with lots of things to see and do around it. We had a little time before dinner. I actually took a small nap.

Dinner was so delicious We went to Southern Craft Barbecue. It was only about a mile from the hotel. The food was amazing. This was probably some of the best barbecue I have ever had.

A deviled egg, cornbread and sugar bacon, this was the appetizer
Salmon, Barbecue pulled pork, okra and sweet potato souffle. We had so much food, we had to do a lot of sharing.

We started Tuesday morning with meetings. And then at 11:00 we took a bus to Bristol which is about twenty miles from Johnson City. We started out with lunch at The Burger Bar. This is supposedly the last place Hank Williams was seen alive. Not from eating there but it was a favorite of his. And that is where he ate his last meal. Just a little local history for you. There you will find the best burgers and milkshakes ever. Just a few of the burger selections: Hey good lookin, cold cold heart Hawaii 5-0, Howlin at the moon. I didn’t get a milkshake but the list to choose from is unbelievable. Check out their website here and plan to eat there if you go and get a burger and milkshake. It is such a sweet place with lots of memorabilia on the walls and just plain old southern hospitality.

Next we went to The Birthplace Of Country Music Museum. This place is amazing and I love it. I have been several times. It is so much more than a museum. A lot of people think that Nashville is the birthplace of country music but actually it was in the small homes and store fronts in Bristol where the very first country music was recorded. We didn’t tour this time but met with some of their staff and board members.

We stopped in at The Southern Churn Ice Cream & Candy Shop and we just had to try this Mountain Dew Fudge. It was actually very good.

Next stop we visited Benjamin Walls’ gallery for a wine reception and some chill time enjoying the beautiful photos of Benjamin Walls and we were actually treated to an unveiling of a couple of his new photos.

That is Benjamin on the left.

Benjamin is an internationally acclaimed artist, avid environmentalist, and successful entrepreneur. I am taking all of this from his website but go and check it out for yourself. His artwork has received seven international awards and has been displayed in dozens of museums, including five exhibits at the Smithsonian and twice at the Natural History Museum of London. It is almost unbelievable some of the photos that he has captured. Check out his website here

A few other places that we visited: The Paramount Theatre
and Lost State Distilling

After the wine reception at the gallery we went to eat at 620 State Restaurant for dinner. Another amazing meal. I had the chicken and rice and a sushi roll, and a margarita. It was yummy. We were exhausted from the day and being on the hot street. It was good to relax and enjoy our meal.

This Margarita really hit the spot after a long hot day.

Our bus picked us up to take us back to the hotel. I think I napped on the way back. The next morning we had meetings until noon and then I headed for home. Although I was only gone for two days I was so glad to get back home to my hubby and the babies.

Breakfast.

If you live near this area or if you are just passing through don’t forget to check out some or all of the things I mentioned. It really is a great trip. Bristol Tennessee or Bristol Virginia is a beautiful area. You won’t be disappointed.

I hope you enjoyed your short trip to Johnson City and the Bristol TN/VA area let me know how you liked it.

Always remember

Love your day your way!!!!!

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!!!!