Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas in Tennessee


The Christmas season is busy for almost all of us. Sometimes working around everyone's schedule for family get-togethers is somewhat of a challenge, however, like it was for us this year, but with some planning, it can be done.

This year, we started our celebration early.

First of all, we went to Nick and Lisa's on my side of the family. We had a delicious meal, and then took keepsake family photos.

Since this was sort of a progressive-meal type of thing, we then went on to Betty's, next door, where we enjoyed dessert...

Greg, at the Dessert Table

and we opened Christmas gifts.

A few days later, we met several members of Greg's side of the family at the elegant Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee where we took more keepsake photos and had a gourmet dinner. Finally, we all went to the Nashville Ballet where we enjoyed "Nashville's Nutcracker" in which our talented little niece performed.

And, we have a couple of other Christmas events planned since there is so much to see and do this time of year.

"Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends."
-Margaret Thatcher

From our home to yours-

Positive thought: "May you have the spirit of Christmas which is peace, the gladness of Christmas which is hope, and the heart of Christmas which is love."-Ada V.Hendricks
Thanks for visiting! Until next time, Becky

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Magic of Christmas


I'd like to share with you some Christmas quotes and pictures that hopefully illustrate some of the magic of Christmas.

"It's the most wonderful time of the year."
-Edward Pola and George Wyle

"When Christmas Day comes
there is still the same
warm feeling we felt as
children, the same warmth
that enfolds our hearts
and our homes."
-Joan Winmill Brown

"Now Christmas comes, 'tis fit that we
should feast and sing and merry be..."
-From the 1766 "Virginia Almanack"

"I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month."
-Harlan Miller

"Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings."
-From "It's a Wonderful Life."

"Today in the town of David
a Savior has been born to
you. He is Christ the Lord."
-Luke 2:11

"Christmas waves a magic
wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer
and more beautiful."
-Norman Vincent Peale

Positive thought: Wishing you and your loved ones all the wonder and magic of Christmas.
Thanks for visiting! Until next time, Becky

Sunday, December 13, 2015

"O Christmas Tree"


"O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Your branches green delight us.
They are green when summer days are bright.
They are green when winter snow is white.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Your branches green delight us!"
-Traditional German Carol

I'd like to share some of my Christmas spirit with you this year with a series of off and on blog posts the next few days. A couple of my posts will be like my regular ones, but most will be mini-blog posts like the one today on the Christmas tree.

Here, in words and photos, the Christmas tree: (Enjoy!)

"The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature."
-Andy Rooney

"The perfect Christmas tree? All Christmas trees are perfect"
-Charles N. Barnard

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.'
-Larry Wilde

"Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights."
-Betsy Canas Garmon

Positive thought:

Thanks for visiting! Until next time, Becky

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Southern Charm's Charming Tea Room


A few weeks ago, Greg and I got to go to the official grand opening of Southern Charm's Tea Room in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and we're glad we did! We had a wonderful time!

(The quaint little town of Bell Buckle is no stranger to this blog, as I've written about it before. Please see my 4/28/13 and 6/21/14 blog posts for more about Bell Buckle.)

Southern Charm has "Gifts, Fashion, Accessories, Home Decor"...

And now, a tea room-

Southern Charm even had an official ribbon cutting for the opening of the new tea room. The mayor of Bell Buckle assisted Bethaney, one of Southern Charm's owners, with the ribbon cutting. (Greg and I were excited about being there because we'd never been to a ribbon cutting before!)

The personable Judy Osborne started the tea room.

These ladies are busily preparing all of the goodies.

The decor and Christmas decorations were exquisite!

The complimentary appetizers, desserts and drinks we had for the grand opening were superb!  

Perhaps our favorite was this fantastic yellow cake.

(Did you ever feel like you were in the middle of a wonderful dream that you didn't want to end?)

Southern Charm
29 Railroad Square
Bell Buckle, TN 37020
(931) 389-0003

Greg and I love everything about this small town, including the friendliness of the people who seem to keep the spirit of Christmas alive all through the year.

Positive thought: "Keep your Christmas-heart open all the year round."-J. L. W. Brooks
Thanks for visiting!  Until Sunday, December 13, 2015, Becky

Tuesday, November 24, 2015



Especially during this time of year, I like to think about all of the wonderful blessings in my life.  In fact, I actually make a list of all the things that happened during the year for which I'm most grateful.  If we just look around us and see all the good things for which we are thankful, anything we consider  negative is minimized.  In fact, the more we are thankful for, now, the more we'll have to be thankful for in the future!

"Count Your Blessings"

"When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings."
-Irving Berlin

"All that I behold is full of blessings."
-William Wordsworth

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time, Becky

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Delightful Day Trips


Glad you could join me as I fill you in on a recent trip that Greg and I took.  It was a day trip in which we went to a nearby destination for a delightful day of fun and relaxation.

On my previous blog post (October 6, 2015), I wrote about our trip to Memphis, Tennessee.  That was a long trip for us, and we spent the night.  We had every aspect of the trip planned, and it all went pretty much the way we had hoped it would.

However, day trips are different, because they are closer home and you don't spend the night.  While long trips are fun every once in a while, you can go on day trips more often, and you generally don't get as worn out or spend as much money on these short excursions.

Part of our recent trip was to a park that Greg and I had been wanting to visit for some time, Cedars of Lebanon State Park in Lebanon, Tennessee.  There are a lot of cedar trees at the park and 19 rare plants that grow abundantly there and nowhere else in the world!  The park offers hiking, picnicking, camping, and horseback riding.

Greg, at Cedars of Lebanon State Park

We enjoyed exploring the park and taking pictures of the few colorful fall leaves that were still left.

Afterwards, we drove a short distance to the small town of Carthage, Tennessee which Greg was curious about since it was the former hometown of a famous fellow Tennessean, Al Gore.

Sometimes, it's more interesting not to plan every aspect of your trip, but to just let things happen.  And, sometimes you are pleasantly surprised!

That's what happened to us as we left Carthage; we found a great place for our evening meal, Timberloft Restaurant in nearby Gordonsville, Tennessee.  Timberloft has steaks, barbecue, and southwestern cuisine.  It's the number one restaurant in Gordonsville, and was awarded a "Certificate of Excellence" from TripAdvisor.

Timberloft welcomed us with colorful fall flowers and pumpkins.

The interior is inviting and cozy!

The charming outdoorsy decor has whimsical touches.

After a delicious meal of perhaps a "Philly Steak & Cheese" sandwich and "Kale Salad" or a "BBQ Stuffed Potato," you might want to try one of their delightful desserts.  They even have gluten-free options.


We enjoyed our last day trip so much that we decided to go on another one soon, for shopping and for the opening of a tearoom in the charming little town of Bell Buckle, Tennessee.

You might want to plan your own day trip soon, to explore somewhere that you've never been.  Where would you go?  What would you do?  Bet you'd have a great time!  (Did you know that many people never take advantage of the entertaining and interesting places near or even in their own hometowns?)

Website you might find helpful:  On this website you can "Find safe, healthy, green, & ethical product reviews based on scientific ratings."  Over 250,000 products are rated on this site.

Positive thought: "Not all who wander are lost." J. R. R. Tolkien
Thanks for visiting!  Until Sunday, December 6, 2015 (or sooner!), Becky

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Memphis, Tennessee, Here We Come!


A few weeks ago, Greg and I visited a place we'd never before explored together.  Years ago, before we'd ever met, we each merely passed through Memphis with our families while we were on our way to somewhere else.

We were excited about going on this trip, and had planned it for several months.  We were on a tight schedule as we had only two days to get in everything we wanted to see and do.

We did it!  With careful planning, we managed to do it all, and like we used to say when we were growing up, we "had a ball!"

The first day, we took in the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid which is a landmark in Memphis.  It doesn't matter if you are into sports or not, because there is something for everybody at the Pyramid.

The 535,000-square-foot space houses specialty shops, a "cypress swamp," aquariums, taxidermy animal exhibits, bowling, as well as other activities, such as an elevator ride to the top of the 32-story Pyramid.

We even had a wonderful lunch there at Uncle Buck's Fish Bowl and Grill.

Our second stop was the Peabody Hotel which houses the famous Peabody ducks.

The Peabody Hotel, where five ducks parade through the hotel's grand lobby twice a day, is a must-see attraction when visiting Memphis.

My brother suggested that we take in Beale Street which is the most famous street in Memphis with its clubs and shops, its soul food, and its live music, and we're glad we did!

Beale Street Is Active, Day and Night

We spent a couple of hours drinking in the beauty of the "mighty Mississippi."  We walked on its banks which have around five miles of parks for outdoor recreation.  You can even take a river boat ride if you so desire.

In this photo, Greg is taking pictures along the Mississippi.  Notice the large buildings to Greg's right, the river boat straight ahead, and the Pyramid in the distance.

We always love staying in bed and breakfast inns, and the nearest one from Memphis was about 25 minutes away in Hernado, Mississippi.

Magnolia Grove Bed and Breakfast was elegantly beautiful, both inside and out.  The snacks and breakfast were superb.

The second day, we went to the famous home of the late Elvis Presley.  No visit to Memphis is complete without a visit to "Graceland."  Elvis seems to be as popular as ever, judging by the crowds of people that were there, not just from the United States, but from all over the world.

Greg and Becky, Right Outside of Graceland

Finally, our last stop was the Memphis Zoo that houses more than 3,000 animals, including "lions and tigers and bears.  Oh my!" (From "The Wizard of OZ') on 70 acres of land.

We were even entertained (through a window) while we enjoyed a delicious, healthy lunch there!

When we got back home, we were exhausted, but we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the "Home of the Blues," "Birthplace of Rock 'n Roll," and "Barbecued Pork Capital of the World." (From "Wikipedia")

Positive thought: "If I had to live my life over again,...I'd take more trips.  I'd climb more mountains....I'd watch more sunsets.  I'd burn more gasoline.  I'd eat more ice cream....I'd ride more merry-go-rounds.  I'd pick more daisies....I'd tell more people that I loved them."  (From "If I Had My Life Over-I'd pick More Daisies" by Nadine Stair or Don Herold)

Thanks for visiting!  Until Sunday, November 8, 2015 (or sooner!), Becky


Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Healing Power of Nature, Etc.


Greg and I have really been enjoying the summer, especially the parks.  We seem to be the happiest when we're close to nature.

As you may know, as I mentioned on my last blog post (August 9, 2015),  my mother passed away just recently, and being out in nature seems to have helped me the most to heal emotionally.

There are some beautiful parks in Tennessee.  If you haven't tried them yet, it's still not too late this year.  And, the colorful fall leaves will be here before you know it!  (If you can't come to Tennessee, every state has nice parks, city, state, and national ones, that you might want to check out.)

One park we really liked was beautiful Burgess Falls in Middle Tennessee.  Actually, there are four waterfalls at Burgess Falls!

Greg, at Burgess Falls

Reelfoot Lake in West Tennessee is also very scenic.  It's Tennessee's largest natural lake.  We really enjoyed our boat ride when we went a couple of years ago.

Sight-seeing Boat at Reelfoot Lake

Of course, in East Tennessee, we also have favorite parks-

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park has a reconstruction of Fort Watauga.

Becky, at Fort Watauga

At Warrior's Path State Park (not pictured), Greg and I always enjoy walking and riding the paddle boats.

All of the above parks are a photographer's dream.

Other types of healing for me were:

-The "365 Promises" which my thoughtful, supportive friend from Tennessee has been forwarding to me daily.  Not only do the "Promises" have healing scriptures, but beautiful photographs of nature, as well.

-Aromatherapy, which I researched online, was good for me.

-Youtube has some beautiful healing music such as harp music which someone suggested that  I try.

-Talking and/or emailing with a trusted person or counselor can also be helpful.

People, as a rule, seem to be happier when closer to nature.  It's easy to forget about that in our busy, hectic lives with all of our electronic devices, but it's never too late to turn all of that around and discover (or rediscover) the healing power that nature can have for all of us in this big wonderful natural world, just waiting to be explored.

Positive thought: "Walk in sunshine."  (From an episode of the old "Bonanza" TV show.)
Thanks for visiting!  Until Sunday, October 4, 2015 (or sooner!), Becky