We are staying here at Olde Gatlinburg,
top floor on your left, corner unit.
The very top window is the master,
and our covered porch is to the left
of the window, with open railing.
(The window directly unders ours
is for the unit under ours, and
their porch is half-walled.)
We have a two bedroom/two bath,
but Nelson & Glenda backed out
with the news of the snow & ice. So,
we're enjoying a large condo! Alone.
I miss him.
He's my bud.
And John's best friend.
In fact, John called him twice today
to tell him to drive up
and we'd buy a unit together. I'll let you know if he comes.
We drove to Cades Cove after a late breakfast.
Where we saw lots and lots
of deer, lots of turkey, but no
bears. I think they must be asleep.
The scenery was so beautiful,
the setting so serene and peaceful.
We fell in love, all over again.
Coming back into town, we decided
to eat at Bennett's and while John
got a ribeye steak and ribs, I got
chicken and ribs, of which we brought
enough home for dinner tomorrow ~
while we watch the Super Bowl!
The only way it could get any better
would be to have these little ones,
along with our girls & their sweet men~
Maybe one day soon,
that will happen.

Continue reading for a look
at the other side of Mt. Rushmore!
Thanks to Lisa McMichael,
I now know what it looks like!

Ever wondered what is on the other side
of Mount Rushmore?

We are in Gatlinburg, but I left
my camera cable at home. Shoot.
I am taking snapshots
and will share them when we get home.
Talk to you soon!

Guess where we are going this weekend?!
And it is predicted to be snowing and
possibly an ice storm!
John will be on vacation and we can't wait!
The condo we will be staying in is just behind
this village, and we walk through it
to get to breakfast!

at The Pancake Pantry!!and we'll drive on these streets and alongside the creek banks on our way to Cades Cove, one of our favorite places~
and I'm hoping this,
will be more like this!! I'll let you know!

Isn't this burp cloth just too cute?! A former classmate, Deborah Hollon, has a business and she appliques and monograms precious items for all ages! You can find her site at Sew~Maid Originals. I promise, you will find something you like!
for that little wild, but adorable, man in your life~
She monograms umbrellas and key chains!
and one of my favorites, her various appliques!
Visit her site and see what you think~

She laughed in second grade, too.
A delightful little imp.
Smart, talented, and happy.
And she stole my heart.
Much like her older sister and
her younger brother did.
My KristenKracker.
Thank you for a wonderful time at lunch.
It was fun, and I needed the laughter,
more than you know~
here's to another lunch date
in the near future.

I Love This Doctor~

Q: Doctor, I've heard that cardiovacular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it ... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and veggies?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: If you have one body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is No Pain ... Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING! Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO cocoa beans! Another vegetable!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' IS a shape!

I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets. And remember "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intentions of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Dr. Pepper in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, worn out and screaming, "WhooHoo, what a ride!!!"

AND for those of you who continue to watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

*The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans*
*The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans*
*The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans*
*The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans*
*The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat a lot of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans*
So eat and drink what you like. Apparently, speaking English kills you.

The above was found on several places online and is making the email trail. I was not able to document the originator, but I sure like his/her thinking and yes, I love House~nmh

My sweet friend, Kelly from Close to Home, tagged me to share with you my top four in each of the categories listed. As I am much older than her, heehee, I am sure mine will not be nearly as interesting as hers, but here goes ~ {and I wonder if you will see your name as one tagged by me!}

Outstanding memories of 2008 ~
1 ~ the total beauty and fun of Christmas in January, 2008!
2 ~ feeling useful once more as I helped a new best friend in her boutique
3 ~ making some really special new friends through the blogging world
4 ~ the blessing of the unexpected (and awesome!) sale of our home, releasing 25 years of material items, and unencumbering our life

Favorite movies of 2008 ~(I go to few movies, so some are from Netflix
1 ~ 27 Dresses
2 ~ Righteous Kill
3 ~ Made of Honor
4 ~ Nights in Rodanthe

Favorite foods of 2008 ~
1 ~ Thursday nights Turkey & Dressing at Cracker Barrel
2 ~ the breakfast skillets at Cracker Barrel!
3 ~ one of the new pasta entrees at Olive Garden
4 ~ Leslie's chili and anything Jenny made!

Favorite places of 2008 ~
1 ~ our home, whether it was the house on Spruce or our apartment on Hwy 14, it was still home
2 ~ as always, Gatlinburg, the place of our dreams
3 ~ Target (Jenny introduced me to some really nice departments!}
4 ~ Brandon, Mississippi

Events of 2008 ~
1 ~ the sadness with the miscarriage Jenny & Brandon suffered
2 ~ the election of our first African-American president
3 ~ our first grandson entered kindergarten (I have heart pangs with the rapid growth of these little one I am so infatuated with)
4 ~ Johnny and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with dear family members and friends

Things I liked in 2008 ~
1 ~ being able to repair my cute little BMW, rather than get another!
2 ~ moving into the apartment and having so many amenities, such as an awesome pool setting for the grandbabies to enjoy
3 ~ seeing the fruits of countless counseling sessions & not feeling guilty for needing help dealing with three life changing issues
4 ~ realizing that retirement is an awesome stage of life & enjoying it!

Things I look forward to in 2009 ~
1 ~ growth within our family
2 ~ eating and living healthier
3 ~ making the decision whether to buy in Gatlinburg or Brandon
4 ~ getting to know our new little ones (hey, we have a whole new year and I am not to the point of having enough grandbabies!)

I would love to know if you accept this tag by leaving me a comment so I can visit you and read yours! But the following I tag specifically!

Kelly at The Craziness We Call Life
Kristen at The Stabler Family
Lynne at Pages From Our Life (and you have GOT to explore her page and look at some of her beautiful photographs; I have one framed!), and finally
Abbie at The Greer Family Blessings

and an angel weeps~

He was her son, his brother, a friend to many.
He was a former student, a bright
and engaging personality.
It came to an abrupt end at some point this weekend
and we are left with questions and tears.
Kirk loved and was loved.
His death brings us to our knees
and to the arms of each other.
Death can be cruel but it loses its power
when we reach out to others
and turn toward the One that cries with us.
I have long loved the sculpture of the Weeping Angel
and thought of it when I got the news last night
that Kirk is no longer a part of our world.
He will remain in our hearts, our memories,
but he no longer will be on the end of the phone
or share life with family and friends.
We will cry and we will miss him.
We have lost too many in this little community,
in this tight knit place. My heart aches and hurts
for the pain his mother is enduring.
And will forever live with.
The weeping angel. Heaven is aware.
He cares and comforts.
And oh, oh, how we need that now~

I originally posted this on my blog, Heartstrings, but felt it may reach more through our family site. Please lift his family in prayers. This is a difficult time for so many~

This past week our daughter, Leslie, came in a few days early with her pup, Marley to celebrate Christmas! It was a great time and we loved having her here for some extra time. However, she came down with the stuffy nose yuck that is running rampant around here, so there are no pictures she will allow me to post of her. I did not have my camera with me during our time at Jenny's home and am hoping Stacey and Jenny will post some soon,
so I can borrow them and share with you! I am not sure why some of the pictures came up much smaller than the other :/
This is Alaina and Johnny not long after they got to our home Saturday. This was taken before we went to Jen's to celebrate.
The food, the presents and lots more space were up there!
Our gift to her was a pink Leapster and it grabbed her attention! Sunday evening, Austin went to Friendship Farm and the two oldest grandsons had the grandest time together.
We were led in the song 'Father Abraham' and Ian really began getting into it. Austin wasn't too sure about it all, but didn't spend much time on the bench. He began to feel comfortable real quick.
Johnny plays the part of a character, Tiger Hood, and here's a shot of Austin first getting a glance of 'Pa' coming in posing as a golfer.
As a visitor, Austin got to go up and take a shot on the putting green.
He made a hole in one!
and he began to warm up with the movements of the songs~
Afterwards, I was able to get the boys
to stand with Bernard the Barnyard Dog!
Just before I left, Ian hugged me and said, 'Nan, get a picture of me'.
My pleasure, sweet Ian~ They left Monday and while the girls were packing the car, Austin began playing with the cars. From a little bitty thing, he has loved cars and trucks. Here he has built an avenue made of cars in order for him to have a route for his larger Jeep and camper to drive on. I'm not sure why he didn't use the blocks to build this road, but whatever works I guess.
and this is one of my favorites taken of the boys~

~ from The Letter Writer ~

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