Saturday, August 27, 2011

Photographic Potpourri


Today, Greg and I would like to share with you a few of our favorite photographs which we've taken over the past two years.  (We're showing only the past two years of our photos because that's how long we've been taking digital photos.  Up until that time, we were rather attached to our film cameras, which we still use from time to time.  The people in our lives finally convinced us we should get into the digital-camera age.  We did, and now we like it!)

These photos are by no means photographic masterpieces as we are not professional photographers!  Taking pictures is just something that we simply love doing.

Hope you enjoy viewing the following photos as much as we enjoyed taking them!

Thanks to all of those that came to "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" outdoor drama in Big Stone Gap, Virginia last night to see the wonderful show and to hear my brother Nick and me sing during the pre-show.  The large audience was great.  It included some of our old school mates from Powell Valley High School in Big Stone. The people involved in the production made us feel welcome, as usual.  A special thanks to our mother and to Greg who are always so supportive of our singing.  They are right there to cheer us on even though they must have heard us hundreds of times before!

                                                          Photo by Greg Arnott

Positive thought:  Bloom where you are planted!

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, September 4), Becky

Saturday, August 20, 2011

More Positive Ideas


In an earlier blog post (Please see the April 3, 2011 post.), I wrote about some ideas that made my life more positive.

Today, I'd like to discuss a couple of more ideas that help me maintain a positive attitude even though it seems as though we're all being bombarded with negativity these days.

First of all, Greg and I turn off the news!  Most of the news media dwell on negativity and sensationalism.  They simply (unfortunately) get a lot more viewers when the news is bad, as they prey on people's fears and survival instincts.

We simply look at only the headlines either on TV, the newspaper, or on line.

In fact, many of the TV shows aren't much better than the news programs.  They're full of murder and mayhem, and seem to show people at their worst.

We don't watch much TV.  When we do, we're very selective about the programs we view.  We mostly enjoy the retro shows of the 50's and 60's and the British comedies.  (The oldies are the goodies!)  In fact, we're seriously considering eliminating TV all together and just renting or even buying a collection of our own DVD's so we'll have more control over what we want to see.

(In my opinion, you are what you watch.  Just like eating, you can either consume nourishing, life-giving food, or stuff yourself with junk food!)

Also, when TV isn't the focus of one's life, there are so many other things a person could do, like read positive, uplifting stories or rearrange furniture or plan a fun outing or-the list goes on and on.  What else could you add to the list?

Another positive idea (which is something that I've done my whole life), is that I enjoy participating in celebrations.  I learned this custom growing up in a family that made all the holidays, birthdays, and other events very special-any excuse for a party or cookout, etc.  Heck, we even celebrated Groundhog Day!  (Not really, but that is a thought!)

Greg and I have continued this wonderful tradition.  You've probably noticed this if you've been reading my blog for any length of time. 

Summer is always an especially busy time for us.  Just recently Greg had a birthday.  We joined several family members at our local cafeteria for lunch. (or "dinner", as many of us say here in the South. "Supper" is our evening meal.)  Afterwards, we met at our house for cake, ice cream, and gifts.  We all had a great time.

(Of course, you don't even have to have a family or close friends to celebrate.  You can join a group (or several groups, for that matter) that regularly celebrates special occasions.)

Next on our celebration agenda in a few days is my brother Nick and neice Julie's combined birthday party.  Then, there's nephew John's birthday, and the beat goes on...

Just notice how much fun these people are having in the following photos!

Seriously, we all did have a wonderful time.  Try it.  You'll like it!

Positive thought: Accentuate the positive!

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, August 28), Becky

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Amis Mill Eatery, Rogersville, Tennessee


Greg and I just recently discovered a fabulous place to visit, an hour's drive from our home.  It's the Amis Mill Eatery two miles outside of Rogersville, Tennessee.

The place is steeped in very interesting history.  I'm not going to even attempt, on this blog, to explain it all as their excellent website (listed below) discusses it in vivid detail.

The relatively new restaurant is charmingly rustic, both inside and out, reconstructed as it might have looked circa 1781.

All of this sets the stage for a tasty meal that would surely delight anyone.  The menu, which is yours to keep, if you'd like, is a great souvenir.  It has a wide selection of items including Cajun tater wedges, Rogersville ribeye, fried okra, and hush puppies, to name a few.  They also serve both domestic and imported beer.  (Please see their complete menu on line.)

The day Greg and I were there (celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary), we had a difficult time trying to decide what to select.  Greg finally ordered the barbeque pork sandwich with a baked potato, and I chose the fettuccine Alfredo with dinner salad.   Delicious!

And, of course, we had to leave room for dessert!  We had all these temptations from which to select :
coconut cream pie, peanut butter cup pie, bread pudding (with rum or raspberry sauce), blackberry cobbler, strawberry cobbler, and ice cream!  Now, which would you choose?  Greg chose the blackberry cobbler topped with ice cream which we shared (how romantic, and sweet!).

Our waitress, Jennifer, and the owner, Jake Jacobs, were both friendly and accommodating.  They made you feel at home.  They seemed delighted that we had chosen to celebrate our anniversary at Amis Mill.  At another table, an older woman was celebrating her birthday.  This is a great place for that special occasion, or any time, really, to make any occasion special!

We sat on their open-air side porch which has a wonderful view of the Big Creek Falls & Dam which is across the street from the eatery.

After eating our wonderful meal, Greg and I walked down to the falls and park-like property owned by the Jacobs family.  It was a beautiful day, and we spent quite a while just strolling around, enjoying nature and taking pictures.  We weren't the only photographers.  We saw people with cameras, taking photos of others dressed in formal attire, with the gorgeous falls as a backdrop.

The Jacobs family is to be commended for doing such a great job of having not only a superb restaurant in which to dine, but for providing such a lovely place to walk, fish, or picnic.

                                                                     Jake Jacobs

We couldn't wait to get back home to tell people about this delightful place we'd found.

As it states in the menu, come "and create (your) own memories."

P.S. Upon your arrival, you'll probably be greeted by the well-behaved, friendly family dog, Tess ( their mascot) unless she's out chasing sticks people throw for her.  You can see Tess and other great pictures on the website listed below.

Amis Mill Eatery
Open 11AM-9PM every day, except closed Wed.
127 W. Bear Hollow
Rogersville, TN 37857

Positive thought: Life is what you make it.

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, August 21), Becky

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Celebration at Warriors' Path State Park


Warriors' Path State Park is a Tennessee state park.  According to the web site, it "was named for the park's proximity to the ancient war and trading path used by the Cherokee.  The 950-acre area was acquired from the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1952.  It is situated on the shores of TVA's Patrick Henry Reservoir on the Holston River."  The park offers a variety of recreational activities.  (See the web site listed below for more details.)

A couple of weeks ago, some of my family members and I had an enjoyable visit to Warriors' Path State Park.  The main purpose of the visit was to have a picnic in celebration of my mother Jean's 87th birthday (with the family members who couldn't celebrate with Mama and me on her real birthday at The Mustard Seed Cafe.  For details, please see the July 9 blog post.)  We all enjoyed a delicious meal of fried chicken, potato salad, slaw, broccoli casserole, and biscuits. We topped it all off with a traditional birthday cake and ice cream which the people at the marina so graciously kept for us in the freezer until it was time for us to use.)  Afterwards, Mama opened her gifts and cards and seemed to delight in each one.

As if this weren't enough, we also had two other reasons to celebrate-my "birthday" (although my real birthday is in February) and Father's Day.

In the way of explanation, I'd often wondered how it would be to celebrate my birthday in the warmer months, when there was no threat of snow that might cancel or postpone my much- anticipated, special celebration.  How great it would be-outside, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, while having refreshments and opening gifts.

We also celebrated Father's Day in honor of my brother Nick who was the only father present (and it wasn't even Father's Day!)

To explain further, we originally were going to celebrate my "birthday" and Father's Day on Father's Day, but it poured rain that whole day, so we had to postpone that celebration until a month later when it was about time to celebrate Mama's birthday!

                                                            Celebration Participants

The guys, post-picnic, trying to decide their next move-biking, boating, fishing, or maybe just relaxing under a nice, big shade tree for the rest of the day.  Decisions, decisions!

(In perspective, as I looked back at the day, the I guess the grass isn't always greener somewhere else.  It's ironic that the rain postponed my "birthday" in the summer like snow can do in the winter!  In any case, we finally got all our celebrating done in one day.  While summer is a great time of year, and I had great fun as I finally got to experience a summer birthday, I decided that next year I'd be true to myself and go back to the hearts and flowers (and, yes, even the possibility of snow) of my near-Valentine's Day birthday.  At the same time, I also decided that it's really OK to do things a little differently like celebrating special occasions whenever we want to, instead of when we're supposed to!)

After most everyone else in our party had left, Greg and I enjoyed walking around the park people-, animal-, and bird-watching, and taking pictures.

On our stroll were two nice ladies, walking their family dogs.  One of these dogs was the adorable little Keylee who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying her day at the park!

To sum up our Warriors' Path State Park experience, I'd have to say, a good time was had by all!

                                                              Your table is waiting!

Warriors' Path State Park
P.O. Box 5026
Hemlock Road
Kingsport, TN 37663

Positive thought: Make every day a special occasion!

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, August 14), Becky