Six Years and The List

There's this bench in downtown Gatlinburg. In a quieter part of town, just off the main street, there's a place to park in a school lot for $5. Does this seem expensive? It's not.
I did try to convince the shed-guy (he sits in a shed all day collecting parking $ - tough job) to let us return and park in the evening for free since we had already paid in the a.m.   He didn't go for it. A guy who sits in a shed and wears a tee-shirt that says "Gas, Grass, or a__ - nobody rides for free" --- this guy gets to call the shots for sure.
There's always a spot there for us, and it's only a few steps from the Donut Friar. The Donut Friar is right at the top of the list of  Must Do's on a Gatlinburg trip.

This picture was taken on the bench in 2006. We were on our way home from South Carolina, spending one, and only one, night in Gatlinburg. We all fit in a single hotel room back then.

This photo taken this year. What a difference six short years makes!
We went from vacationing with children to vacationing with adults, or at least adult-sized peopleThe comparisons have had me just sitting and staring, drawing comparisons, amazed.
The List:
1. The Village including buying and eating from the Donut Friar
2. Car gawking on the main street at night 
3. Sausage sandwiches eaten as you walk and gawk
4. Watching the taffy making at the Candy Kitchen
5. Mini-golf - recommend Davy Crockett course
6. At least one hike (as a concession to mom)
7. Rock hopping in the stream that runs through Chimney Tops picnic area
8. Go karts on the way home in Pigeon Forge 
(also in PF - Smokey Mountain Knife Works, Apple Barn fritters, Old Mill Square)


Super-Size Kong

If you get a photo of Kong Kong while driving down the road on a June Saturday, 
I think it should go on the blog post as super-size instead of just an everyday 'medium'.
So here it is:
We've been on vacation. 
There's agob* to look at on the drive into Gatlinburg, TN. 
Pigeon Forge just keeps getting more and more out there! Since there's such astack* of traffic, you have plenty of time to take photos of oddities. I messed up the shot of the Hollywood Mt. Rushmore, or you'd get to see it too. 
We don't actually go in these attractions, considering them just some fabulous (and free) scenery. The sights we used to look for on the Pigeon Forge drive when we were kids are old and pathetic in comparison, if they're even still visible. That huge dragon with the pink and green polka dots - - - I know you're wondering about that one - GONE. The alien head poking out of the arcade - VANISHED
I'm not sure, but I think King Kong and even the Hollywood Mt. Rushmore are inflatable, so  how long can they possibly last?

And I just want to ask, why would anyone really want to see Dueling Lumberjacks?

*Recently impacted by this snippy cartoon correcting all users of ALOT. 
Like me.
I'm planning to move to more creative versions of ALOT.
ascad, aheap, apile (which does not trigger spellcheck), 
awad, abatch, and abucketful.

ALOAD more on the family vacation coming up soon...



Is this creepy or what?
A spider lurking in the Blushing Bride. 

(I'm deleting this photo as soon as this post publishes.)


Sunlit Pink

I'm not so much a pink girl. 
Not such a surprise with all men in this house, right? 
Pink is not my favorite color in clothes, although my husband likes me in pink, so I do have a couple of pink pieces of clothing. 
Pink paint on walls - no way, no how is that gonna happen. 
But it's hard to avoid pink in the garden. 
I got this hydrangea as a gift, and even though it was pink, it had such a fun name - the Blushing Bride. It starts out white, then matures to a sweet pink blush. In past years, she  has blushed blue, and I've re-named her as the Frigid Bride.
But this year --- it's all the way blush-y pink. 
I'm dealing pretty well with it, for a NOT PINK kinda girl.
And well, pink back-lit with golden spring sunshine - who can resist that?

- Happy First Day of Summer!
- We had friends out for dinner last night. They are older than us by about 15 years, I guess, so they speak with the voice of experience on so many levels. Saints in the church since their youth, they've been through much hardship and they love to tell of the faithfulness of the Lord on the path of life. We're thankful that He brings us companions to make the journey rich. 
- Today I get to enjoy the Day After Guests today! No cleaning, since it was all done yesterday in preparation for the friends. Truly, I love that 'all done' feeling. Maybe that's how people feel after the cleaning lady leaves? Well, I guess it's not exactly the same... 
It does last for more than fifteen minutes, too, now that the kids are older. 
- There were no takers for the hydrangea bouquets, but last night they found a purpose! The dinner friends volunteer at the local hospice every week, and mentioned that they would be stopping at Krogers to pick up their unsold flowers. They arrange them for the patients who don't receive any flowers and as a blessing for the nurses. The friends took the huge vaseful of blooms that were on the table - light blues, dark blues and purples - to use at the hospice today! We're hoping they return to cut flowers for the hospice every week. Is that cool or what? I'm so glad someone will be enjoying all that BLUE BEAUTY.
- I dragged the watering hose around the yard this morning early after MWH left for work at 7. I didn't bother to change out of my pajama pants, since WHO would see me so early anyway? It's awkward, the way I have to keep both pants legs pulled up to the knees (so they don't drag the ground and get all wet with dew) while dragging the long, heavy, loooonnnngggg hose. It's definitely an upper body work out, all done while holding your pants legs up with one hand. 
Are you getting a feeling for the awkwardness??? 
So did my neighbor. I think she was more embarrassed for me than I was. But her dog enjoyed it, barking and snarling at me for the first time ever. 
I didn't think I looked THAT bad in my PJs...


Baby Son

Baby Son, Third Boy, thirteen years ago you met me in the delivery room looking confused and slightly disappointed to have been disturbed. 
I was able to really savor you, my last baby, every now and then, even though I had two young boys at home who wanted to share in the care and loving of you.  
You cried alot,  and sometimes I knew why. 
Often, I did not - much to my dismay. 
Much to the dismay of anyone nearby! 
You may have been a fussy babe, but you turned into 
the sunniest, bouncing toddler. So often, even now, I find your hands reaching out to help, your arms extended to gather me up in a generous hug.
Baby Son, Third Boy - I didn't think you would change into a Man-Child so soon. But there you are, and it's plain to anyone who might hear your voice ringing out in the kitchen as you call out, "What's for dinner tonight?" 
It's not your final man voice - I know that since your brothers have already grown into theirs. Your in between voice has an electric tone, with a slightly higher vibration than it will finally mellow into.

And it won't be long, Baby Son, Third Boy --- it won't be long at all.


Lust for Nuts

After seeing this on Pinterest, we gave it a shot.
Ours didn't turn out to be quite as tidy as theirs, but it's a pretty cool feeder, I think!
One slinky, a wire hanger bent into a circle and a few bread ties.
We filled it with raw peanuts bought at Krogers for $1.49. Pretty cheap project, when all is tallied up - less than $3 if you have a wire hanger and bread ties banging around the house.
We did get our big, tough blue jay. He was lovin' the nut buffet! 
I even saw a nuthatch who was able to get a peanut out of the slinky, but he couldn't fly with it. 
Is anyone else hosting an overwhelming herd of chipmunks? Our dog spends alot of time in pointing position, since everywhere she turns --- there's a chipmunk! 
So it's no surprise then to see this little guy shimmying up that pole, right? 
(The teacup and cupcake stand are inside the window.) 
On his hasty way up, he caught sight of us in the sunroom, watching the bluejays at the feeder, and he froze immediately. He was hiding, he thought, peeking out at us. Can you see him behind there,  clutching that pole, thinking he's finally been found out? That the end of the party has surely arrived?
Oh, how often I do that same thing! Do you see a bit of yourself in that silly chipmunk?
We thought he'd leap down, but the lust for nuts made him bold, and he leaped across thin air, right onto the swinging feeder. He grabbed his bit of bliss and jumped down head first - he had to hurry, before the jay returned to peck a hole in the top of his tiny head.
I think I saw him doing a joy dance out there in the grass! 

miscellany monday at lowercase letters



On Mother's Day morning, on our rainy way out the door to church ---
"Hey, Mom - can you help me cut some flowers for my girlfriend's mom?
I want to do something to thank her mom for being such a good mother."
After picking my jaw up from the floor, I gave him the kitchen scissors and sent him out into the drizzle, 
directing  from the dry doorway, 
"Snip a piece of that, get one of those ... cut a nice long stem.
Hurry, it's raining harder!"
I hope she was blessed - I sure was.
It was an adjustment to have to share the glory on Mother's Day. 
You know I am the previous Queen of the Day
Just the beginning of things to come as the mother of sons! 


For Sale - Blue

Here's my facebook post for today. 
I hardly ever post - mostly I just lurk.


Do you need to take flowers to a friend, for a baby shower or just for your table?
 I have so many blooms this year - bring your own vase and enjoy!

(contact by email)

Even if we're not 'facebook friends', you could still come 
out for a nice bunch of beautiful blues!
We could sit in the swing a while and drink some sweet tea ...
That sounds like a nice way to spend a summer afternoon.