It was back to work today after a long three day weekend. Last week was a bit of a crazy sixty eight day week, well that’s what it seemed like anyway, and I definitely needed the extra time off. I am writing this in a bit of a fog because for some reason this day just kicked my butt. I think a very early night is in order. But first I just wanted to share a bit of last week with you.
I told you last week that we had some exciting things going on at work. I work at a tourist attraction that happens to be home of America’s Largest Underground Lake. The Lost Sea. Shameless advertising ahead, http://www.thelostsea.com. Check it out if you get a chance. The lake is located 140 below the ground level and covers 4.5 acres. A cavern tour and boat ride is included in the tour. We have four boats that are used throughout the day. Last Monday we got a new boat. The last time new boats were brought into the cave was about thirty years ago. It is not an easy thing to do. We will be getting two now and two at the end of the year. These are large flat bottomed boats that hold about twenty people each.
Each boat weighs approximately two thousand pounds. They are brought in half at a time. The cave is very narrow and steep going down hill to get to the lake. Each boat half had to be taken in on a huge dolly pulled by a motorized Gator utility vehicle and then a tractor pulling against the weight of the boat to help slow the process. It was scary and exciting to be a part of something that doesn’t happen but about every thirty years. Our crew did an amazing job as well as the company that built the boats.
With all of the preparations getting the boat delivered and set up and everything I had a couple of really long days.
My Birthday and wedding anniversary was on Wednesday. Mark and I both had to work so we decided to celebrate later in the week. I did have Birthday lunch with the sisters.
I also had lunch with a couple of friends.
I took off an extra day on Friday and got my hair cut. Saturday was rainy and we visited my mother in law at the village.
A fairly lazy weekend which is what I needed after the crazy work week. And just like that it was back to work today.
I hope you have a wonderful week. I will end with just a bit of cuteness.
I started a new category on my blog called Rural Living. I know that we are not as remote as some people are but to us it is pretty remote. I hope you enjoy this new category and the goings on of living in the country. I wanted to share with you how we got to this area.
We live in a very rural area or as my sister calls it “where the sun don’t shine”. But the sun does shine and it is beautiful especially this time of the year. It’s really not that far out or maybe I have just gotten used to it.
We have lived in this area for more than twenty years. I love it now and always for the most part. Well except when the roads are snowy and icy. Luckily that’s not too often. We are about twenty minutes from the nearest small town with a Walmart or any other grocery store. We are about an hour from Knoxville or any other larger cities. We don’t usually just run out and grab a hamburger because it can take almost an hour even if we do drive through. So we plan our trips accordingly. Luckily Mark and I are both homebodies. I have about a twenty five minute commute to work and Mark has about an hour.
How did we get to this area? More than twenty years ago my husband’s dad had bought property on Tellico Lake and built a house there and he loved it!! We loved it too when we went to visit and fish and just hang out. I always thought it was a bit out of the way. Like I said only about twenty minutes from town and about thirty minutes from where we were living at that time, but it seemed longer the first few times we drove it. Mark loved the area and had always said if he couldn’t live on the ocean he would love to have lake front property and build a house. A piece of property came available near my father in law’s house and we checked into it. We were sort of forced to move because highway 322 in Sweetwater, where we lived, literally came through our house. We had to move. We wanted to build a house and we were living in a starter home so we decided to build on the lake. It took almost a year to build our house. We broke ground on June 8th of 1998 and the house was finished in April of 1999. It was thirty minutes from Sweetwater, where we were living. We moved in with my mother in law for the year it took to build our house.
I was skeptical about buying the property it was all wooded and overgrown and it was hard to imagine a house being built there. A lot of the land had to be cleared. It would take a lot of work. I remember the day we went to look at the property. The drive seemed to take forever. I kept throwing out derogatory comments about living in the country. When we got to the property we had to make our way through the woods to get to the lake bank. The wind was blowing. We were being slapped in the face by tree branches as we walked through the thick wooded area. I was trying to imagine a house being in the middle of the woods and looking at this lake view every day but it was a little hard to do. I was very skeptical at this point. Once we got to the lake bank and I was standing there with the wind blowing through the trees and gently lifting my hair I noticed something strange. I couldn’t hear anything like traffic or people or anything!!!! All I could hear was the wind in the trees. It was so peaceful and soothing. That is the moment I was hooked. I was sold.
We bought the property, picked out a house plan and the clearing of the land started. Mark and poppy, my father in law, did a lot of the work. Poppy lived just next door to the property and he was retired so he was able to go to the property every day and check things out. It seemed like it took forever. Especially during the winter months when the builders would stop for weeks at a time to go on a hunting trip. I was livid and threatened to withhold any pay they were owed until they finished. My husband said that would not be a good idea so I didn’t do it.
We finally moved in almost a year later. I got used to planning everything around a twenty minute drive into town instead of five minutes like before. We had no neighbors except poppy. We could only see his house in the winter when there were no leaves on the trees. When we first moved in I longed for the normalcy of being near a lot of people and running out for food or groceries in five minutes. But now I love this place and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Sure someday we may choose to move closer to town but for now we love our little rural area.
I apologize for the photos you will see. Twenty years ago cell phones just aren’t what they are today. Some of these pictures were taken with a 35MM camera with actual film. So many of them are pictures of pictures.
I hope you enjoy this new series on my blog. There will be lots of pictures and stories about rural living.
Hi friends and happy Sunday. How was your weekend? Why do weekends zoom by so fast? it seems like about fifteen minutes ago I was pulling my car into the garage and it was Friday evening and I had two glorious days ahead of me. Oh well. I’m happy to be here and to have a job and I am very happy and grateful for you if you are reading right now.
Saturday morning I was able to visit with my mother in law for a couple of hours. We still have to call the Assisted Living Village and set up a time and go to the front and have our temps taken etc etc. But things are getting better and at least I am able to visit face to face in her room with her. I took her some supplies and we had a great visit.
I was supposed to have lunch with a friend and she woke up not feeling too well so we postponed and I had a couple of hours to kill before picking up my groceries. I had been hearing about a new bakery on a farm in Sweetwater. Grain Bin Commodities. I figured this would be the perfect time to go and check it out. I had also seen on their FaceBook page that the gift shop they had there had everything 20% off.
The bakery is a little ways out of town on a farm. I hadn’t been in that area in years. It is such a beautiful farm. Cattle and fields of green with yellow wild flowers as far as the eye could see. The bakery itself is in a small house with the actual baking being done just behind the counter and cases full of the most delicious treats you have ever seen, smell or tasted. There are a few decor items for sale in this building but a large barn next door had lots of other items for sale. There are tables and chairs set up inside the bakery and on a patio connected to it as well. You can enjoy your treats and relax with this amazing view.
The family who owns and works the bakery are just about the nicest people you could ever meet. They love giving you samples of the goodies and telling you all about the food.
I bought a few of the cookies and cake pops. They were delicious. And of course I bought a few other things.
After picking up my groceries I came home and put all the groceries away. I took the babies for a long walk and waited for hubs to come home. This was his weekend to work.
The Azaleas are blooming and they are beautiful!!! We have both pink and white blooming but for some reason the pink ones are really blooming more than the white. It’s that way here anyway.
The Irises are also blooming. These are really old. My mama had these planted at our house where I grew up. When she passed away I dug up several of them and moved them to my house. I have also given lots of them to my nieces so that they may have some of her flowers as well. They are very special. I transplanted them from the first place I planted them when I first moved to this house twenty years ago to a more sunny area in the backyard. Now they are thriving.
A huge Azalea bush on our driveway. This thing needs to be cut back but you really can’t tell it until it blooms and then it is so hard to cut it. I will wait until fall.
Sunday was a quiet day. I did some knitting, replanted a tomato plant I have on my deck, did laundry, read a good book, walked outside with the fur babies and took a ton of pictures. A good weekend overall. Now to gear up for the coming week. It’s my Birthday week and I will take an extra day off on Friday to celebrate with my husband. My actual Birthday is Wednesday but we both have to work those days. Did I ever tell you I got married on my Birthday? I did!!! So we have double celebrating to do.
How has your weekend been? Do you have a big week planned? I do have a big work week planned but I will tell you more about that at the end of the week and will have pictures and maybe a video.