Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Bell Buckle Celebration



Recently, Greg and I returned to one of our very favorite places, Bell Buckle, Tennessee. I've written about this quaint little town on other blog posts. (These are the 12/6/15, 6/21/14, 2/23/14, and 4/28/13 posts.)

This time, we were there to celebrate a very special occasion for us, our wedding anniversary!

"Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day."
-Gene Perret

Our first stop in Bell Buckle was, of course, the Bell Buckle Cafe.


There, we know that we'll always get an excellent meal...


It was sooo good! Southern home-style cookin,' Greg's and my favorite kind!


Of course, we had to top it all off with an anniversary dessert, a grits cake with strawberries and whipped cream. Fantastic!

After our wonderful, filling meal, we decided to take a stroll around town.


This is just one of the neat shops we visited.


Inside "Perfectly Painted" was an unexpected bonus, this cute little guy.

On our way out, after yet another visit to Bell Buckle, Greg and I noticed this pretty B&B, the "Walker Inn."


We thought that it would be great to spend the night here on our next visit so we could enjoy an even longer stay in this charming little town.

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction."
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Positive thought: "An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow."-Author Unknown
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, September 4, 2016 (or sooner!), Becky


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Positive Memories

Welcome!

These days, it's almost essential to have positive thoughts about things. One great way to have those thoughts is through our pleasant memories.

Something that happened just recently made me think about how these positive memories are actually an important part of our lives.

Yesterday, Greg and I met with an aromatherapist to help us with a couple of things we wanted to improve on, and she told us that if a particular scent appealed to us, it was meant for us to have.

There was one fragrance that I particularly loved, that I definitely wanted. When I smelled it, I felt transported to an especially happy time in my life. All of a sudden, it was Christmas at my old childhood home. Our family was gathered around the dining table, and the smells of Christmas dinner wafted through he air. I could also see the pretty Christmas decorations, and gifts around the tree.


More Recent Christmas Memories at Greg's Brother's House

Wow! Who wouldn't want something like that! Just think, with a simple whiff, it can be Christmas every day!

It's really amazing that the sense of smell is that powerful, and, in fact, the sense of smell is the best of the five for helping one recall the past.

Of course, there are other ways to access your pleasant memories. Greg and I started talking, reminiscing about fun things we used to do when we were growing up.

We both loved similar candies like "Reese's Cups." Also, we went to a lot of similar places on trips, like the old "Howard Johnson's" restaurant (with its 28 flavors of ice cream) and motor lodge. (For more info about this "American icon" check out: www.hojoland.com .

Once, when I was about four years old, my parents and I went to church for a program that I decided I really didn't want to be in, so after I got all upset and started crying, Mama and Daddy promptly took me to a nearby drug store, and we all had milk shakes. That really calmed me down. To this very day, a milk shake is one of my favorite comfort foods!

"Becky, remember the good times."
-The comforting advice of my "philosopher" uncle on the passing of my father

I was always fascinated with my grandparents' beautiful, almost magical back yard. It was a sight to behold, with its lovely roses, trellises, bird bath, and grape arbor, complete with a swing that could hold two people. In my little-child mind, this just had to be the most wonderful place on earth.

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary which brought back fond memories of when Greg and I first met and our beautiful wedding at my parents' house.

Positive memories can also be triggered by watching old TV shows, visiting an antique shop or memorabilia store, listening to old songs, being at a restaurant with retro decor, researching online,  reading books, magazines, diaries, or emails about "the good old days," and looking at photos, etc.


"What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that's gone forever, impossible to reproduce."
-Kale Lagerfeld

These positive memories are a gift to us; they are our go-to places that can transport us back in time, that help us put things in perspective; they are a comforting place that can be with us forever.

What are some of your pleasant memories?

Positive thought: "Life brings tears, smiles, and memories. The tears dry, the smiles fade, but the memories last forever."-quotesgram.com
Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, August 21, Becky






Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Tennessee Road Trip, Part 2




On last week's blog post, "A Tennessee Road Trip," that I wrote on 7/24/16, I told about our fun trip to David Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee.

On this post, I'll tell about part two of our road trip.

After we left the park, on the way home, we went through another interesting place, Ethridge, Tennessee, that we had visited a couple of years ago. In fact, I wrote a blog post about it on 8/11/14. We enjoyed being there so much that we decided to stop back by and see a couple of things we missed last time.


This vintage truck and the outside of this building were all we saw when we went by on our last trip to Ethridge since this business was closed.

It's reopened, so we got to see inside this time.


An Old Soda Fountain

It's called the "Ira Irving Gen. Store & Bus Station."

We were surprised that there was a Greyhound bus station in this small town, but it's mostly for the benefit of the Amish who live in Lawrence County, Tennessee. Besides their buggies, the Amish have to rely on either the bus, taxi, or plane for their transportation since they don't have cars, etc.


A Member of the Old Order Amish Community


This is an old building that is next door to the general store and bus station that has all sorts of interesting tools and other items for sell that would especially appeal to the Amish.

Life certainly is fascinating, especially when you travel! Travel opens up new places to explore and fun things to do. We can hardly wait for our next adventure!

Starting next month, I'll be publishing "The Art of Positive Living" posts only on the first and third Sundays of each month, and the "Spirit Photographs" posts on the first Saturday of each month, at least for now, as I have a pretty full schedule, trying to juggle all of my many projects.

Positive thought: "I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list."-Susan Sontag
Thanks for visiting! Until next Sunday, Becky

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Tennessee Road Trip




Greg and I recently took a little trip to yet another park, David Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. and this was a really nice one. In fact, this park got the "National Gold Metal Award," "Best in the Nation" which it truly deserves.

The 1,100-acre David Crockett State Park "is in honor of one of Tennessee's most famous native sons," a "pioneer, soldier, politician, industrialist, legislator, statesman, patriot and hero..." according to the brochure.

The park offers camping, fishing, boating, hiking, and swimming. It also has cabins, picnic pavilions, an amphitheater, bike trails, and a restaurant.


When we arrived, we were really impressed with the beauty of the park, and that same excellent quality was evident in the Crockett's Mill Restaurant & Patio inside the park where we enjoyed lunch.


The decor was very attractive.

You can either order from the menu or opt for the buffet, and we chose the buffet, as we usually do whenever there's a buffet available.


The food was great. In fact, this was probably the best ham I've ever tasted!


View from the Restaurant Window

 After lunch, we decided to explore the park, and...


The scenery was gorgeous!


Paddle-boating is so much fun!

In fact, our entire visit to the park was fun. You might just want to try it for yourself sometime!

F.Y.I.
www.tnstateparks.com

We went into Lawrenceburg after we left the park, and saw this impressive statue of David Crockett on the town square-


It just so happened that the day before our trip I decided to work on ridding myself of a not-so-good (bad) habit. I told Greg that I had a plan to rid myself of this habit. My plan was to reward myself in some way during the late afternoon of each day that I got through the day without giving in to this habit.

These rewards were just little things, gifts to myself (like special food, under $5.00 items, watching favorite DVD's, etc.) for doing a good job. I made out a list of rewards, and started implementing my plan on the day that we went to the park.

My first day's reward was a cone of ice cream which was easy to obtain since we were on a trip.


Yum! 

(However, I don't plan to give up one bad habit for another one! I eat something sweet just once or twice a month. That's why this ice cream cone was such a special treat for me, a perfect reward!)

Anyway, the plan seems like a good one because I have refrained from this bad habit for several days, and if I can get through a whole week, I'll buy myself a book that I've been wanting. If I can just get through twenty-one days, the bad habit should be eliminated completely.

In the meantime, I'm thoroughly enjoying every day as I have something positive to look forward to with my little rewards. I can't vouch for anyone else using this plan, but this seems to be working for me.

Even after I'm completely rid of my bad habit, I think I'll try to give myself little rewards for completing tasks, in a timely manner, that usually cause me to procrastinate.

This trip to David Crockett State Park was just part of our Tennessee road trip. We also enjoyed a little extra add-on excursion which I'll write about next week on this blog.

Please stay tuned for "A Tennessee Road Trip, Part 2" next Sunday.

Positive thought: "Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding."
- www.quotesgram.com

Thanks for visiting! Until next Sunday, Becky









Sunday, July 17, 2016

Angels Among Us

Welcome!

I got something in the mail just recently that was the inspiration for this blog post. It was an invitation to subscribe to a magazine, "Angels on Earth," which I'm thinking about doing. The magazine is from "Guideposts."


On the "Angels on Earth" website, it says, "Angels come in many forms, from helpful animals to mysterious strangers. Angels can come to us in dreams, on a breeze, or in a strain of music. When they appear, they always radiate life affirming hope and comfort." Even if you don't subscribe to the magazine, the website has some helpful articles worth reading, like "Overcoming Negativity."

www.AngelsonEarth.com

"I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
-Michelangelo

I've experienced angel contact myself which I've written about on previous blog posts.

Just recently, I've had a couple of unusual things happen which I believe are related to the angelic realm-

The first one was, that one of Greg's large sunflowers fell over and died, but this pretty little flower seemed to appear out of nowhere and took it's place-


Then, after I'd taken a picture of this canna on our deck, I noticed what appeared to be ectoplasm in the photo. An angel, perhaps?


"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."
-Paul of Tarsus

From a cute email someone sent us-
"All angels are girls because they gotta wear
Dresses and boys didn't go for it."
-Antonio, age 9, from "Angels...as explained by children" email

Positive message:
"May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering Angel
so nothing can harm you..."
-An Irish Blessing
Thanks for visiting! Until next weekend, Becky

Saturday, July 9, 2016

New Ice Cream Shop in Tennessee

Welcome!

If you love ice cream as much as I do, check out the new ice cream shop in Columbia, Tennessee, "Hattie Jane's Creamery," which is next door to the locally famous restaurant, Puckett's, that's on the town square.


It's a cute little shop...


with cute decor...


and homemade ice cream that is simply delish!


This is Tahitian Vanilla with caramel sauce in their homemade waffle cone. They also have intriguing sweet treats such as "The Elvis" which consists of 'nana puddin' ice cream, peanut butter, candied bacon, and amaretto whipped cream.

Not only do they have ice cream, but they also have other wonderful confections like brownies and cookies.


And, to wet your whistle on a hot summer's day, how about some ice cold lemonade?


I believe these nice ladies would agree that...


"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy ice cream. And that's kind of the same thing."
-Unknown











F.Y.I.

www.hattiejanescreamery.com

I'd also like to add a birthday cake as a special treat for a special person, my mother, whose birthday was on July 9. We love you!











Food for thought: "Tomorrow we can eat broccoli, but today is for ice cream."-Mallory Hobson, age 9
Thanks for visiting! Until next weekend, Becky


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Homestead Manor in Tennessee

Welcome!

On this post, I have a very special place to share with you, Homestead Manor, located in Thompson's Station, Tennessee.

Greg and I had been wanting to go to a local farmer's market, and decided we'd try the one in Thompson's Station, at Homestead Manor, and we're so glad we did, since we got much more than we expected!


This May-October farmer's market features locally grown produce, home-baked goods, and various crafts, as well as several other offerings such as raw honey and bison.


I bought an organic cantaloupe from Arrowhead Farms which was the best one I ever tasted!


While there, Kate filled us in on the lovely old plantation-style house next door, Homestead Manor, which she told us is a restaurant, now.

F.Y.I.











Since Greg and I love old houses, especially plantation-style ones, we decided to go check it out.


We ended up having lunch there...


and, a delicious one it was!


The food was gourmet and very healthy! Their organic vegetables, etc. either come from their farm or from farms in the surrounding area. (Also, you don't leave hungry since the portions served are generous, unlike some gourmet restaurants we have been to!)


We spotted a couple of luscious-looking strawberry shortcakes go by our table, so we decided to split one. Great decision! Yum! (All homemade! They even make their own bread.)

Food humor-"A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand."
-Author Unknown


After lunch, Hannah, our personable waitress, took us on an interesting tour of the mansion which we really enjoyed. Each room was professionally decorated with different themes for the different periods of the house. Rich in local history, Homestead Manor is on the National Register of Historic Places.


If you'd like, you can even have homestead Manor fix you a picnic lunch to go.


Also, it's a beautiful place to have a wedding!

Homestead Manor in Thompson's Station, Tennessee is a multi-faceted event place that we would highly recommend to anyone. In fact, our afternoon there was one of the most memorable, enjoyable ones that we've ever had!

F.Y.I.
www.homesteadmanor.com

Happy Fourth of July weekend!

Positive thought: "Good food is wise medicine."-Alison Levitt
Thanks for visiting! Until next weekend, Becky