Monday, October 26, 2009

My Hometown-Etowah TN

I love Etowah this time of year.   Just thought I would give you a short tour of my hometown.  When I was growing up the L & N railroad was very popular.  In fact most of the "town" of Etowah was on the right side of the road going south.  The RR was on the left side which was where the depot was a predominant building. 

The building is now on the historic register and houses the Chamber and has art displayed.  It's a cool building and when I was 16 or so, I worked at the Gem drugstore behind the soda counter.  Sometimes there would be passenger trains stop and the passengers would come in and order their lunch.  We served hamburgers, hotdogs, malts, shakes and wonderful hot fudge sundies (especially if they were fixed by me.) 
The town runs down the foothills of the Cherokee National Forest and the colors are just breathtaking.  Now I can appreciate the beauty, then I took it for granted. 
This is the backyard of my BFF Joyce and her husband Roger.   They have lived in this place since they were married, eons ago, and they were recently able to acquire the land the barn is on.  It was just beautiful looking out admiring the landscape.

My hometown has many surplus stores, antique stores and a few eating places.  If you get a chance, you must take a trip down Hwy 411 and stop to enjoy my hometown.

Carnival Liberty, September 29-October 3, 2009

It's about time!  The cruise blog is here.  Time has a way of helping us forget so if important information has been omitted from the blog that the reader feels needs to be added, please feel free to add in the comments.  I can moderate those and will allow everything you send me.  I won't be able to post some of the pictures that were taken but those of you who were with us, can easily see them on Live.

There were 22 people in David's group, 23 if you count Buffett.  Buffett was a stowaway and wasn't quit as visible as last time.  But he is going to take a shot at his version of our cruise.

Hi, Hello, Whoopee! everyone.  It's me, Buffett.  I have decided that I am a domesticated bird and didn't go looking for my homeland this time.   Buttttttt, my owner, Carolyn, didn't bother to tell me she was going to go to a rain forest!  Huh!  What's up with that?  Ah but I digress, let's begin with the how I got to the ship.  I flew ah, but not the way you think.  I flew on an airplane, a Southwest airplane that is.  Shhhh, don't tell 'cause I was a stowaway, remember? 
Here we go, up, up and away!
While we are at it, there is the safety stuff we have to listen to and of course I had to have my seat belt buckled.

There were plenty of magazines to read and you can even shop on the plane.

But oh, too much reading while I'm moving doesn't make Buffett a happy bird.

But once we landed it was on to the ship.  Wow, it's bigger than the last one.

Then there was more safety stuff, like the muster drill where we had to put the life vest on and stay on a hot deck while we find out what the light and whistle were for.  I figure I didn't need the whistle, hey, I'm a bird, you figure out the rest. 

Once that was over it was time for the sail away party.  Yep I went to this in the back pack.  And was able to come out and get on the back of my owner's nephew, Roy.  Oh but wait, there are two of them.  Mike said it was "Roy and Fake Roy."  Here they all are, Mike, Roy & Jerry (aka Fake Roy.)

Once the sail away ended, off we go to the Cruise Critic's meet & greet. These were the people my owner met online and they planned this event to meet each other in person.  My owner took me to the party and I met loads of new people.

And there were a lot of fruity drinks for me to sample.

There was dancng.

The cool Decade Girls were in the matching yellow T-shirts!  WTG, Carlene, Deb, Phyllis and ? (sorry.)  We saw them everywhere we went, kewl chicks.

Here was the whole group!!

Oh, boy, too many fruity drinks!

It was time for dinner so I picked out the wine!

My beak is getting worn out.  I think my owner's keyboard is going out so I'm not responsible for any typos in this cruise account.  It's just that I could have it finished quicker if it were not for the keys not working.  Dang it! 

Ah, but I digress once again!  That's just day one.

Sea day was next.  I met more of David's peeps.  Most were from Meigs Co TN but a few were from Cleveland, TN.  Oh, we also had West Virginia, Englewood TN, Nashville, TN, Toronto CA, and Kingsland GA represented.  A very diverse group of people.  On the day at sea is gambling, dancing, watching the  big screen, & sunning.  This day's pictures had to be censored!

Tina & Roy

Tommy & David Templeton

Tina shows off her tatoo!  Woohoo!

Dancing on the deck.

It was cool to watch movies at night on this huge screen.

Dress up night and I'm surrounded by some good looking studs.  Jerry, David, me, Jonathan.  Don't know where Roy was????

Me and Theda, see we can dress up too.  LOL

Pretty girls, (l-r) Tina, Theda, Carolyn, Jan, Kim, Sheila.  Don't know where Roy's Tina was????

Here are SOME of the boys, Tommy, Jonathan, David T, Bill, Kenny and David S.

Our beautiful hosts, David and Jan.

Ah, here they are, Roy and Tina, Hot, Hot, Hot

Here is the story behind the strawberry in Kim's plate.  Our waiter  gave Kim her plate and it was a very small square of strawberries.  She asked him what it was and he said it was her soup she ordered.  He served everyone else and we were having a blast with Kim's soup.  Then the waiter came over w/a creamer full of the "rest" of the soup.  At the time it was VERY funny.

Oh boy, I get to go up on deck.  I like traveling with Tina and Roy, they let me smoke and drink.

Now I get to lay out in the sun and get a tan.  Actually I'm feeling like I need to lie down for a while.

What I really wanted to do was go down the slide but my owner thought I would get too wet.  But Tina T and Kim would have caught me just like they did each other.

Jerry is waiting around on the others.

It was time for Grand Cayman to check out the Margaritaville.  So in I go in the backpack because we had to get on a tender (smaller boat to  take us ashore.)

Here is a view of our ship from the shore.

My owner has decided the post for the cruise will be in two parts so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mama's house

What a day it has been!  Day two of the yard sale is under our belts.  Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy but we will go ahead because we have narrowed our "stuff" to all under both carports so if it rains our "stuff" and our shoppers won't get wet.

Today we were invited to dinner by Mary and Kenneth.  They live where I grew up and where my Mama took her last breath.  It was the first time I had been in there since splitting up her possessions.  I thought it would be okay, no problem.

Big problem!  I walked into the kitchen and just lost it.  Emotions flooded into me that I never knew I had.   It was very difficult.  It's amazing what triggers ones emotions and we don't know when it will happen or what effect it will have on one.  The one I'm talking about is ME!  Thankfully Mary and Kenneth had built a great place on the hill that had a sceened in porch, bedroom and bath.  OMG, it is just so cool place, they call it the White House.  The White House came to the rescue.  We ate our delicious chili and pizza on the screened in porch.  Great company and an enjoyable dinner. 

Later I returned to go in the house and look around.  While it was difficult for me, it was very carthartic.  I am thankful for the opportunity that Mary gave me to be able to confront whatever has not been dealt with in seven years.

Wonder what makes people place so much emphasis on the past.  I know that if we don't know the past we are sure to repeat it but in a situation such as the house,  is that the same?  I don't know but it did do me good.  I'm thinking that will not be the only thing to deal with while I'm in the area, so it should be interesting these next few weeks.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Tuesday

It is such a beautiful night!  The skies are clear and there looks to be a million stars in the night sky.  It's dark out here and when you look up it is just breathtaking.

Today was spent at the church for a senior lunch of pinto beans and the fixins.  There were about 47 people there and the meal was very good.  Sister Shirley was in charge of the decorating and we (sister Wanda and I) went over to help out.  I got up early and cooked some cornbread to take.  I was able to go to Deborah's to use her electric oven.  Still getting used to a gas oven.

There was also a show and tell.  The idea was to take a sample of your hobby.  There were quilts, jewelry, wooden toys, canned foods and I took my mosaic table and fire starters.  It was good to see everything made by the people in the church and it was good to see people I had known since I was a child and meet new people.

My sisters and I are having a yard sale this Wed, Thurs and Friday so we spent the afternoon setting up to start early in the morning.  Hope I make a enough to purchase my surge guard when I go to Nashville next week.

My evening was spent meeting with the reunion committee.  We met from 5:30-9:00.  Whew, lots of posters and chatting.  I believe we are ready for Saturday night.  We originally thought we would be happy with 40 people showing up and that included spouses.  Our count tonight is 67 not including spouses.  Wow, out of 153 students that is a good showing with about six weeks notice.  It should be fun.  I'm getting excited.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Settled in Etowah

As I pulled into Mark and Deborah's driveway, Mark was standing there waiting on me.  I got out of Somewhere and we discussed where he wanted me to park so I would be out of his way for a few months.  After that was settled, I unhooked Grey Goose and proceeded to back into the chosen area.  As it turned out I needed to move a little closer in order for the plug to reach.  He will still be able to get the mower out if he has to mow one more time this season.

When Sedona was allowed out, she ran, ran and ran.  Oh she was like a free bird.  She remembered being here for a part of her early life and she was taking full advantage of her freedom.  She is still not crazy with sharing her space, as big as it is, with Chigger (Deborah's yorkie) and Cat (Deborah's cat). 

Last night we went to Roy's house and he has a new little dog, Willie, and Sedona was just as snippy with him as he was with Chigger.  I believe w/all the exposure to other animals she may get out of being a little snippy girl dog that she is.  It's funny to see all of them playing with each other.

I haven't hooked up my water yet.  It's cold and this morning there was a heavy frost on the ground.  I have my heat set to come on around 62 and it has come on a couple of times at night.  My quilts feel so good.  I just snuggle under the covers w/Sedona and sleep.  I think my bed is terrific!  I have slept the last few weeks better than I've slept in a while.  Of course, maybe it's because I'm alone, it's cold and I'm home.

I'll tell you one thing.  I have put off buying a surge guard for Somewhere.  Mixed advice of you don't need on to you need one.  Well, I needed one.  While plugging into the 30 amp service at Mark's house, I lost my big TV in the Living Room.  Almost lost the Microwave.  Lost the clock radio plugged into one of the plugs in the Bedroom.  When I return to Nashville and Camping World, I shall invest in a surge guard.  That will put my mind at ease and hopefully protect the coach like it needs protecting.  I called my insurance company today to see what would be covered.

One good thing, the TV was a very heavy one and very big.  I got a flat screen to replace it that weighs only 17 lbs.  It has a great picture and picked up well on the antenna.  Hey, what do they say about lemons??  Lately I've been having a lot of lemonade!  LOL

That's about all that's going on w/me lately so stay tuned...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday on the Craft Loop

Even though it was raining yesterday we had a nice drive going around the craft loop in Gatlinburg.  We stopped at an area that contained many little shops of different artiseans.  At the stained glass shop they were working on 4 panels for a church in Pigeon Forge.  The scenes depicted local traditions and terrific views of the mountains.  The color choices in glass were tremendous.  That church is lucky to have such talented people giving their love in the work they were doing.

The smells from the cherry shop and the busyiness of the copper corner were insipiring.  It makes one think how fortunate this area has such talented people.

We also went to the lady who sells apples to the Apple Barn to get some apples but she said her crop wasn't good this year and they didn't have any.  Her house was out in the boonies and I don't know how sisters founds this place but they did.  On the way was where Dolly Parton grew up.  Back in the hills.  It pays to get off the propular beaten path.

We went by the Smoky Mountain Winery to pick up some wine that Theda really loves, Scuppernongg.  They didn't have any because scuppernongg is a wild grape and there are not enough grown to make gallons of wine.  Once they domesticated the grape it has become muscadine.  So there are plenty of muscadine wines but none tasted like the Scuppernongg that was made before.  Oh well, it will have to be red or white muscadine.

We came back from Gatlinburg, ate at the Red Lobster and then shopped.  Yes, I went with my sisters to shop a little to Five Oaks.  OMG, there were a million people there.  We didn't buy anything, where would I put it if I did?  It was good just being with them.

Today was better.  It rained but in the early afternoon, it quit.  But it's raining again.  I've begun getting ready to head out tomorrow.  I'll hook up and head toward Etowah.

BTW, if you wonder why no photos with this post of the craft loop.  I went to the Cracker Barrel this morning for breakfast and now I seem to have misplaced my camera.  I went back three times to see if it had shown up and nothing.  It was in my pocket and when I returned I went to add a picture of Shirley and Doug to yesterdays post and no camera.  I have looked everywhere.  It's gone, I just know it.  I will be amazed if it shows up.  I did leave my telephone number and a description of the camera and case in case they find it, they can call me. 

I'll have to charge the batteries of my old digital and see if it still works.  Glad I didn't sell it or worse yet, find my film camera and use it.  Think I'll remember how?  LOL

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cades Cove-2 hour trip

Yesterday was a beautiful day in the Smoky Mountains National Park.  It is the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains.  If you click on the link you will find out more detailed information about the park and the activities here. 

There were 15 of us and we took hamburgers, hotdogs and the fixins.  We found two tables in a terrific location next to a stream.  We felt lucky to find two tables together so we could all be together.  Finally a day w/out rain!

Here are the guys getting the grills ready for us to use to cook the hamburgers and hotdogs.

Here are Sandy, Judy (standing) and Willa (sitting) posing for the picture and chatting about the food getting ready to be prepared.

Another of our couples from Etowah are Mary and James enjoying the day without rain.

Ann's got the right idea.  Read and block it all out.  That only lasted for a few minutes.  She had to get in the action.

Jim joined her to pose for the picture.  Jimmy is my nephew.

Here is DS and BIL, Wanda & Don.  They are the reason we are here.  They will celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary on Friday, October 16, 2009 but their group has been coming up to the Pigeon Forge for the last several years to celebrate with them.  My sister is such a sweet and kind person.  Everyone loves Wanda.

Bobby and Bobby carry on a very intense conversation.

DS, Shirley is getting the chili ready for the hotdogs and Willa looks on.  Sister Shirley is the planner and she gets us all headed in the right direction.

Wanda and I pose for a picture but where was Shirley?  It's not complete w/out the other one of us.

While we were eating we saw three deer run through our picnic site.  Cutiest little doe w/mama and another female.

Once we finished eating and cleaning up our area it was time to take a trip around the Cades Cove Scenic Loop.  By this time it's a little before dusk and it should be a good time to see wildlife.  So we all head to the bathroom and then load up in our vehicles.

The colors were just beginning to change and since it wasn't sunny, the mountains didn't show their beautiful fall colors the way sunlight dances on the leaves to give us the show they can.  It was still a beautiful drive.Here is the view of the road from the back of the van.
Just about the only wildlife we were viewing was deer.  Big, small, medium, you name it we saw many herds.  Willa estimates we saw about 75 head of deer.  Hope that's the correct terminology or my readers from TWRA will post and correct me, especially if they figure out they can post annomously.  LOL

Here is the church in the dell where last year, Wanda and Don renewed their vows.  Of course all the gang had a part in the ceremony.  BIL Doug performed the ceremony.  Bobby played the piano, Paul gave Wanda away and it just sounded like they had a ball reenacting their wedding.  Notice the church is standing on rocks as their foundation.

If you will look closely at the third car in front of us, you will see Ann as our spotter.  She was like a jack-in-the-box through her sunroof.  We were looking for black bear but alas, not to be.  I heard on the news tonight that there are an abundance of black bear in the area but we didn't see one.
Oh, by the way, did I tell you it took us 2 hours to go 11 miles on the Cades Cove Loop.  Lots and lots of cars inching along looking for that alusive black bear.

It was a good trip and a great cookout.  I am so glad that I got to come along and be part of a great group of Etowahans.