Sunday, July 4, 2021

The Fourth of July


Today, I have a patriotic post for a patriotic day, the Fourth of July, a very important day in the history of our great country, the United States of America!

Through words and pictures, I'd like to help celebrate the liberty, the freedom that we now have for which our forefathers so bravely fought.

Just a few days ago, I came across this post card (below) when I was looking through some old photographs that had belonged to Greg's parents. The post card depicts the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It is from a painting by the artist John Trumbull. (This post card is now proudly displayed in our new memorabilia room since freedom means so much to us.)

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." -From "The Declaration of Independence" (1776)

Some patriots, including Greg's fourth great-grandfather, John Arnot, are honored on this stone in Bent Creek Cemetery in Whitesburg, Tennessee because they fought in the Revolutionary War. (Please see my related "The Art of Positive Living" blog post, "Honoring a Patriot," on 6/6/21 for more about John Arnot.)

"I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!' -Patrick Henry

Local patriots proudly show their true patriotic colors-

"My patriotic heart beats red, white, and blue." -Anonymous

"Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit." -Ronald Reagan

"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free, and I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me....God bless the U. S. A." -Lee Greenwood

(For real inspiration, check out the Lee Greenwood "God Bless the U. S. A." videos on Youtube.)

"From every mountainside, let freedom ring." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

"From the mountains to the prairies to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home." -Irving Berlin

"And the rocket's red glare, the bomb bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?" -Francis Scott Key (from "The Star-Spangled Banner," the United States national anthem)

Small Business Feature:

At the Wayne Scott Strawberry Festival in Unicoi, Tennessee in May, I met an artist who owns a small business, Old House Art. Her abstract pieces are really pretty, colorful. She not only paints pictures, but she makes jewelry, as well.

I loved her earrings so much, that I bought a pair. They were reasonably priced, too!

"I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true." -Wendell Willkie

I'm remembering my parents on their wedding anniversary. They married on the Fourth of July. That day was, of course, extra special for them. And, they were extra special, too.

I've been featuring cats quite a bit lately, so I decided that it was time to feature a dog on this blog post. It's only fair to the dogs and for those who love them!

Dog Feature:

Here's a rescue dog that was at the Unicoi Strawberry Festival that was hoping to be adopted. Bet someone picked up this little guy pretty quickly! What a cutie!


Did you know that there's another special day in July that is not that well-known? It's "National Ice Cream Day" which is the third Sunday in July. This year it's on July 18. Hope to see you at the ice cream parlor!

Oh, and have a Happy Fourth of July!

Positive thought: "Remember: light overcomes the darkness, good overcomes evil, love overcomes hate, and positive overcomes the negative, always."-Becky Arnott

Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, August 1, 2021, Becky


Sunday, June 6, 2021

Honoring a Patriot


I have a very special blog post today about a special person that several of us honored this past Memorial Day, John Arnot, who fought in the Revolutionary War. He was Greg's fourth great-grandfather. He was from New York when he fought in the war. He eventually moved to East Tennessee and was buried in Bent Creek Cemetery in Whitesburg, Tennessee.

It was at Bent Creek Cemetery where the members of  the LTC Felix Walker Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), along with the Ruth Davidson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), presented a grave marking ceremony honoring patriot John Arnot. Many of John Arnot's descendants also attended.

Mike, president of his local SAR and descendant of John Arnot, arrives along with one of his grandsons for the ceremony. Mike is Greg's brother.

We enjoyed our time greeting and...

catching up with seldom-seen family members.

Patriotism was very much on display-

with wreaths and...

Betsy Ross flags...

that have 13 stars that represent the 13 colonies that fought for freedom during the Revolutionary War.

Some even dressed for the occasion.

Mike opened the ceremony with his welcoming remarks.

The impressive, informative ceremony included the histories of the SAR and the DAR, and the origin of Memorial Day that were all presented by members of the SAR and the DAR. Everyone joined in singing our national anthem.

The Pledge of Allegiance was led by direct descendants, a brother and sister, who are both in the Scouts.

Enjoying the Ceremony

Comments were made by two of John's descendants- 

Expressing Gratitude for Patriots' Service

Telling about Life in the 1770's

Wreaths Were Placed

The grave marker was uncovered...

and dedicated.

At the end there was a benediction.

Around 30 people attended the grave marking ceremony.

It was a wonderful, unique experience for all who attended, especially for the younger people.

It was time to leave the cemetery and...

to continue our day of celebration in Elizabethton, Tennessee...

with a picnic!

Afterwards, Greg and I explored the park...

and discovered this awe-inspiring statue that was fittingly "Dedicated to the Spirit of the Overmountain Men Heroes of the American Revolution."

We all have our special memories of this special day of honoring a patriot, and the memento above will help to forever remind us of one man and many other brave heroes like him who fought to make our great country free.

Featured Restaurant-

The Tavern

The Tavern is the oldest of Abingdon's historic buildings. It is number two out of 43 restaurants in Abingdon, Virginia according to Tripadvisor. At The Tavern, they serve delicious food including American, steaks, and seafood. I thought that this was an appropriate restaurant to feature on this post since it was founded in 1779, around the time of the Revolutionary War. For more information:

For a related post on The Tavern, please see my May 15, 2021 blog post entitled "The (Haunted) Tavern."

Special Cat Update-

Birthday Cats

Our two indoor cats, Kallie and Mitzi, recently celebrated their fourteenth birthday. They were given new toys and a special treat of sardines. A good time was had by all!

Positive Thought: "It is just as important to honor and cherish the living as it is to honor and cherish those who have passed on."-Becky Arnott  

Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, July 4, 2021, Becky

Sunday, May 2, 2021

A Celebration Tour


Greg and I have had some recent good news, so we decided to celebrate by doing something we had been wanting to do, but had never made time for, which was a more in-depth visit to downtown Abingdon, Virginia. This would be our celebration tour.

Abingdon has so many wonderful little shops that it's unbelievable! We spoke to one girl who has lived in Abingdon all of her life, but she said she had never seen many of the shops until she started working in one. We suddenly didn't feel quite as bad, since we have lived near Abingdon for less than two years, and had never seen most of the shops. Better late than never!

Before visiting the shops, we decided to have lunch. Greg noticed an old house with with someone sitting on the large porch and a sign in the yard, and we decided to check it out. It was, thankfully, a restaurant.

The Peppermill

WE found out that this house was built in 1908, and that the small house to the right had been a children's playhouse.

The chicken salad sandwich and sweet potato fries are the best!

From our vantage point on the porch, as we were enjoying lunch, we noticed this beautiful piece of artwork on the building across the street. As I've said before, Abingdon is a very arty place.

After lunch, as we were walking down the street, we passed by the impressive St. Thomas Episcopal Church...

which is made of stone. As one visitor said, it looks as though it should actually be located in England.

Greg and I love antiques, so we decide to go into Zephyr Antiques.

We're glad we did since they have so many nice things!

This sign looked intriguing, so we thought we'd go in and check it out.

Salt of the Earth is a place you can go and "Relax-Restore-Rejuvenate." They offer massage therapy, infrared sauna, salt therapy, etc., and they have several healing types of items you can buy such as salt lamps, essential oils, etc. Looks like a great place to go and unwind! 

I went into this cute little women's clothing boutique, Forget Me Not, which had some really neat things, including...

this cute cap advertising the nearby Virginia Creeper Trail.

Greg was waiting for me outside the next shop I was going to see, Market on Main, where I enjoyed quickly looking around the 65 booths that had a large variety of things including clothes, jewelry, household items, toiletries, pet treats, etc.

I didn't feel sorry for Greg, waiting outside, however, because apparently he was enjoying his time watching girls walking their dogs, etc.!

We decided it was about time to go home, but first, we needed to stop by Anthony's Desserts to get take-home snacks. Greg got a brownie, and...

I got this delicious sugar cookie.

On our way back to our car, we noticed that this restaurant which used to be a hardware store was being remodeled, and will be open by Memorial Day weekend.

This building which used to be a furniture store is being turned into a restaurant, Foresta, which is "upscale Mediterranean with an Italian flair." 

Things are looking up in Abingdon!

Although we visited several wonderful places, there were others that will have to wait until later.

The Tavern is one of those places that we want to visit on a future trip to Abingdon. It's the oldest building in town, and it's a popular place to dine.

This shirt sums up everything nicely-

An adventure awaits!

Kit-Cat update:

Our little partly-feral cat recently had to have emergency surgery since she could not have her kittens due to a damaged pelvic bone. The vet said she only had a 60-70% survival rate even with the surgery. Several of us were praying for her, and thankfully the surgery was very successful! We credit our prayers and Dr. Jay at VCA Animal Hospital in Abingdon for saving her life. Now, she is fully recovered and better than ever!

Positive thought: "Prayer changes things."

Thanks for visiting! Until Sunday, June 6, 2021, Becky