Saturday, September 24, 2011

Welcome, Fall!

If you've been reading my blog for the past few weeks, you've probably guessed that I'm very fond of summer.  Each year, I hold on to it as long as I can.  (However, in all honesty, I mostly like summer as long as the weather is nice.  I guess you could call me Nature's fair weather friend!)

Any way, the last couple of years, I have changed my attitude.  I try to appreciate all of the seasons as each has a beauty if its own.  (I decided that life is too short to long for summer until it makes its next appearance.)

Now, each autumn, I take down all remnants of summer in our house and fill our home with the look of fall-brightly colored leaves, flowers, etc.  I've currently got a pretty good collection of fall decorations, whereas, previously, for the most part, I ignored anything pertaining to the autumnal season. Used to, occasionally, I'd maybe bring home one rather small pumpkin I'd found at our local grocer's as my way in participating in a season that I didn't particularly like.

Now, by adding the colors of autumn (which reflects the colorful splender outside), our house has a more cheerful and homey look and feel.

Presently, here in East Tennessee, the leaves barely hint at the magnificent color which will be evident in just a few short weeks.

Autumn, you're growing on me.  We just might even become friends!

Positive thought: Embrace change!  Enjoy all the seasons of life.

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, October 2), Becky

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Homestead Shoppe and Irene's Back Porch


Today, I'd like to tell you about a place that I'm excited about.  It's called the Homestead Shoppe.  The owner is Scott Taylor.  He told me there are over 90 quality dealers with over 150 booths in his large building.  These dealers have antiques, collectibles, and home decor for sale.

                                                                    Scott Taylor

There is something at The Homestead Shoppe for every taste and budget.  This is my kind of place.  What a way to spend the whole day just browsing and shopping!  Does that sound like fun, or what?

F.Y. I.
The Homestead Shoppe
P.O. Box 159
Highway 11W
Church Hill, TN 37642
(423) 357-5400
Mon.-Sat. 10-6
Closed Sun.
(Check them out on Facebook.)

And, that's not all!  When it's time to take a break from all that shopping, there's a great little place for a meal or a snack that's right inside The Homestead Shoppe.  It's called Irene's Back Porch, all decked out with lovely country decor.  If you want "down home," and country cookin', this place is it! 

There are tasty entrees like meat loaf, and country sides like cornbread salad and soup beans.  What about a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich?  The dessert might be carrot cake, a cobbler, or chocolate pie.  (The menu varies daily.)


The day we were there, Greg had a cheeseburger with potato chips, and I chose the chicken salad croissant with cole slaw and cheesy potatoes.  In addition, each of us was presented with their famous fried hoecakes with butter.

                                                         Chicken and Dumplings

After the meal, we told Irene Moody, the owner/cook how much we'd enjoyed everything.  She then suggested that we really needed to try their signature dish, chicken and dumplings, which she brought out for us to sample.  Neither of us has ever liked chicken and dumplings, but we both agreed that this was delicious!

                        Lisa Queen and Al Johnson who work with Irene Moody in various capacities.

After all this food, we didn't even have room for dessert.  Just like it says in their ad, "Nobody leaves Momma's kitchen table hungry."

F. Y. I.
Irene's Back Porch
In the back of The Homestead Shoppe
Church Hill Shopping Center
Church Hill, Tennessee
(423) 357-5410 call-in orders
Mon.-Fri. 11-5

Positive thought: from Irene's Back Porch: "Made from scratch country food at country prices."

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, September 25), Becky

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wild Flowers and "Wild" Cats


                                                                Wild Flowers

Greg and I are fond of summer.  In fact, it is our very favorite season.  We love the warm weather and the extraordinary beauty of nature, especially flowers.  Flowers add such a special touch to anyone's yard, etc.  Even wild flowers can bring an unexpected loveliness to the most unlovely types of places.

Recently, I set out on an excursion to find and photograph some of the prettiest wild flowers in our area.  I was amazed at how beautiful even wild flowers can be!  (However, a few of those I photographed may not be technically wild flowers although all were either beside the road, near railroad tracks, or in open fields, etc.  In any case, I hope you enjoy the following photos.)

I especially love sweet peas because they bring back good memories of Mama and other relatives picking them to decorate for Greg's and my at-home wedding.




                                                               "Wild" Cats

A couple of weeks ago, we took our cats, Kallie and Mitzi, to have their required (and dreaded!) yearly rabies shots.  Normally, they are two of the sweetest, best-behaved cats on earth.  However, once they get to the vet's office, they turn into wanna-be mini-killing machines!  If you saw them, you'd think they were possessed!  Any way, our veterinarian, Dr. Hobbs and his staff do a great job handling these tiny terrors.

We'll always be grateful to them for nursing Kallie and Mitzi back to health when they were just kittens (right after we'd adopted them), as well as for the other times that we needed their very professional help and

However, we want to show everyone at Family Pet Veterinary Hospital the following pictures of Kallie and Mitzi at home, to let them know how they look when they're not over-reacting to being at the vet's office!




                                                               Listening to Music


                                                                Hanging out with Greg 


                                                                     Mitzi and Kallie

We are currently working with Dr. Hobbs on ideas for taming these wee beasties for any future vet visits.

We are especially thankful that on our last visit Dr. Hobbs gave our cats a rabies shot that is good for three years!

Family Pet Veterinary Hospital
Dr. Shean J. Hobbs
4399 Hwy. 11 W
Blountville, TN 37617

Positive thought: Beauty is everywhere if we just look.

Until next time (Sunday, September 18), Becky

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Labor Day Weekend


This is, of course, Labor Day weekend (May it be a safe and happy one for everybody!), the official end-of-summer holiday which ends, among other things, the wearing of summer white.  (Who makes up these rules, any way?)

This is the traditional last time of picnics, cookouts, etc. before back to business as usual, and the soon-to-end warm weather here in the mountains, as well as many other places.  That's OK!  Even with the cooler weather, we can all still take time during our busy schedules to work in a fun break at least once a week, all year long, to have something to look forward to.  We really don't have to wait for a holiday or other special occasion to enjoy our lives.  Why not have a mini fun break every day?  How about even having an indoor picnic?  Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured.  Life can be an adventure!

For our holiday weekend, Greg and I decided to spend one day just going to a park in nearby Johnson City which, along with Kingsport and Bristol, make up our Tri-Cities area.  (For more info. on the parks in Johnson City, please see F.Y.I. below.)

You know, you really don't have to go way off somewhere to have a great time.  There are so many places nearby where we all live that are just waiting to be explored.    

The following pictures (as well as the one above) are from our trip to the park.

Also, on Labor Day itself, Greg and I plan to spend a quiet day at home, sharing hot dogs (How American is that!) and all the trimmings with a couple of other people as we sit on the porch and watch birds and squirrels scamper about in the back yard.  Sounds like a plan!

A new feature! - Featured Photos

Last weekend, several of us had a wonderful birthday dinner, including cake and ice cream, for my brother Nick and his daughter Julie at Betty Bristol's home.  (Betty is Nick's mother-in-law.  How many mother-in-laws are that accomodating-just kidding!)

While at Betty's we met a nice lady, Barbara Trent, who's shown here holding her adorable white Maltese, Bobby, whose favorite treat is Cheerios!

Johnson City Parks and Recreation Department
4137 Bristol Hwy.
Johnson City, TN 37601
(423) 283-5815

Positive thought: Look for the good in everyone and everything.

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time (Sunday, September11), Becky