Sunday, July 31, 2011

Kentucky Bound

At Cumberland Falls is one of only two regularly occurring
moonbeams in the world. 

It has been a looong week, I have missed my blogger friends and blogging.  Last night Clint and I decided we would take one of our spur-of-the-moment trips.  We are headed in a couple of hours for Williamsburg and Cumberland Gap, KY.  Our first trip together was to Cumberland Gap in the fall. We are looking forward to going back to Cumberland Falls.  I will be in touch later, hopefully this evening.  I will be searching for a fabulous old house on one of the back roads.  Years ago I saw this house and didn't have a camera, you are immediately taken back to the 1930s when you see this house and surroundings. I hope to find it and share a photo with you!



Friday, July 22, 2011

A Foggy Friday Morning

I missed misty mornings of Tennessee when I lived in Texas.  Fog was rare there.  It seems strange
to find fog rare but that's what happens when you rarely see
something for years. 

Another rarity in Texas was rain.  I made the statement after the drought
conditions and water restrictions there, I would never complain again
about rain.  I haven't.

Tuesday the sun was shining brightly as it was pouring down rain.  I was in a store and
just knew there had to be a rainbow somewhere.  The conditions were perfect for
the creation of a rainbow.  On my way home there was no rainbow to be found in any direction!  It was
okay because when I pulled into our drive way, above me was what I call
one of those beloved "silver lined clouds". 

Last Sunday morning Clint announced, "Let's go to Gatlinburg!"

I agreed, "Let's Go"!  This kudzu lined hill is such a familiar spot
on Chapman Highway, the road we traveled to Gatlinburg.

Frightening how that plant can consume the landscape!  The world!

I love it when we top the hill and ahead lies Sevierville, there's
those hazy blue Smoky Mountains.

Does anyone get the idea I love clouds?  :~D

Downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Caught you again, Clint!  A woman holding a .38 special is
no match for me!   (Note pistol in her right hand) 

The taffy being made in one of the well known candy stores.  My favorite
"candy" is the caramel apple with chopped peanuts.  No, I passed on one.

Clint has not been to Dollywood.  We may go in the fall. Dolly sang
in Knoxville Saturday night.  Her first time singing in Knoxville
in over 25 years.

My dreams homes that can be seen on the hilltops from
the streets of Gatlinburg.  Have you ever wanted something so
badly and no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn't make it
happen?  How I did try to live in Gatlinburg and the nearby areas.

After many frustrations, two years and tears, I came to the realization it was not
going to happen.  The most amazing aspect was I ended up very happy
that it didn't happen.  It was a blessing it didn't happen.

Later I will probably have to share one of my Gatlinburg house
hunting stories.

I snapped this picture from inside the house as the firetrucks
were leaving Sunday night.
Sunday evening after our Gatlinburg trip, I smelled what I thought to be
natural gas.  Clint said he had smelled it a couple of times earlier in the week.  I called the
KUB (Knoxville Utilities Board) customer service number, did the prompts for "gas leaks" and got
no answer after repeated attempts.  I ended up having to call 911 who then transferred
my call to the local fire department.  They came right away (sirens) and could detect no leaks.  Clint and I had
to go to Walmart late that night and buy a gas/carbon monoxide detector. 

The next morning I was able to contact KUB and a guy came and could find no leaks.  We
are thinking now our hot water smells "funny".   It's not good that I could not reach
KUB at a time when I thought we might have had a  potential emergency.

Intriguing new book I am reading.  After reading two
different reviews of this book, I decided I had to read it.  Imagine
one day every injury/pain/etc. is suddenly lit up with a glowing light. I won't
bore you with a book review (you're welcome :-)  but so far
I am enjoying this novel.

♫ On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again ... ♫  We are heading out for the Atlanta area this morning to visit Clint's mom.  It's going to be so good to just get away for a few days.  I hope to have some time there to read my book and draw.  We are attending a "Vegas Night" event at her retirement village, I hope there is an Elvis impersonator.  I like Elvis impersonators.  (Clint cringes when I say this :~D )

Get some class, Clint!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Our Wonderful Evening

Last Thursday evening my daughter, son-in-law and grandson
wanted to "take" us to dinner for our birthdays.  We met them
at a nearby favorite restaurant.  The day before they had bought a
"new" Rubicon Jeep.  As we were pulling into the parking lot
I realized they were right in front of us.

We were unable to meet earlier for our birthdays
because of work/travel/vacation schedules.

Tracy, my son-in-law.

The delicious fried green tomatoes, everything we'd heard
was true!  They were delicious!

My husband, Clint.  I knew when he read the words "shrimp" and "grits" that he would
know what he was ordering!

Cllnt's shrimp, sausage and grits.  He said it was one of the
most delicious dishes he'd ever had.  He even went as far to say it was
almost as good as the Red Snapper Portofino from Compari's in Plano, TX.

My daughter Lucinda and my grandson Canyon.  He was about to
call it an early night.

I was a "good girl" and was mindful of my dieting.  This citrus marinated and
grilled chicken breast was delicious!  I brought half of it home for
"brunch" the next day.  Clint had leftovers, too.

No, Canyon, you can not be the new hood ornament
for the Rubicon.

A beautiful sunset as we left the restaurant ... a perfect way to end the
perfect evening.

Thank you Tracy, Lucinda and Canyon!

We enjoyed the spectacular food and had
a wonderful evening!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

As Silly As It Gets

Totally captivated by Marilyn Monroe as a child, not
only did I want to look like Marilyn Monroe, I wanted
to BE Marilyn Monroe!

The first major art award I won was of a portrait
I painted of Marilyn Monroe.  I won a top award
out of 660 entries.

Screen test of Marilyn Monroe for "Niagara".  1953

I will never forget  this conversation in the movie:

Hey Dear, why don't you wear a dress like that?

In order to wear a dress like that,  you have to start laying
out plans at the age of 13.

Being around the age of 13 when I first saw the movie,
I had no idea how I could begin "laying out plans" to
wear a "dress like that".

A scene of Marilyn Monroe in the movie "Niagara", 1953.  My mom
and I loved this movie and enjoyed watching it together.  Clint says
he has never seen the movie!  We will have to watch it together, soon!

 My hair was brown and I needed blonde hair to look like Marilyn Monroe.
The closest thing I had to "Marilyn" blonde hair was a fur wig
hat that was popular in the early 1960s.

Dear readers, I can hear your snickering all the way here in Tennessee!
To make matters worse, this  wig in the photo is of a much better quality
than I owned.  :-)

What an unusual picture I thought when I
saw this photo of Marilyn Monroe when I was very young.

 The wheels started turning ... actually spinning out of control!

The daydream of a wig wearin' 12 year old girl trying to hug a tree like Marilyn Monroe. 

Those shadows in the pictures were
probably those of my Aunt Billie, my sister Patti and/or my brother Jimbo.
They were usually an accessory to my "crimes" as I was to theirs.  :~D  ♥ XOX

We sure had lots of fun!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Cookie Contest

A month or so ago I posted a photo of a 113 year old wax head.

Today I am posting this photo of a 4 year old cookie. I
have to inject a little humor here.  :~D  This cookie traveled
from Dallas, TX, to Knoxville, TN, aboard a hot Mayflower
Moving van and survived!  You can see some of the green
leaves at the top crumbled a little.

This cookie won 1st Place in the Dallas Morning News
Holiday Cookie Contest in 2007.  It was created
by Sandra Entrican of Carrollton, TX.

Sandra had a winning streak of at least 10
years of winning 1st place in the Decorated Cookie category.  Sandra's cookies are truly works of art.  After the judging, the finalists are able to get samples of the cookies.  Sandra's cookies are highly sought after, I learned you want tobe seated near Sandra's cookies when the announcement is made that samples can be gathered.  Each woman/man for her/him self.  I was fortunate enough for two years to be able to get Sandra's cookies.  I admit I ate her last award winning cookie of a penquin.  One can only imagine how long it takes Sandra to complete one cookie.

Last year someone else's entry put an end to Sandra's winning streak.

This photo was made in 2007 when I was able to get the cookie
 when it was fresh.  Sandra told me some people coat
their cookies (works of art) with laqueur.

A photo of my Orange Squares that
won 1st place in the Easy Category
of the Dallas Morning News Holiday Cookie Contest.
(Sorry for the small image size)

My friend Betty made this for the bulletin board
of our Sunday School Class.  Thank you again, Betty!

My Raspberry Dream Bars won 3rd place in 2009.

These cookies I called "Latte Cookies"
were a finalist but did not place in 2006.

It is such fun to gather the samples to bring home along
with the recipes.  We would get to sample the cookies and make
new friends during the cookie judging.

Tiramisu Cookies

I had high hopes for these cookies, they didn't place but
they were quite tasty!  This was a practice run.

It was a lot of work entering the Dallas Morning News and Central Market Holiday Cookie Contest durning those years but it was worth it.  When I first read about the contest,  I boldly announced to Clint, "I"m gonna win this contest",  and was so happy the day I called him with the news.  First place winners win a $150 Central Market Gift Card.  Of course it was not about the gift card, it was more about "could I do it?"

This morning I received an email from my Plano friend, Cherrye.  She had sent me a link to the Dallas Morning News Recipe of the Day which was featuring my Raspberry Dream Bars.  Thank you, Cherrye, it was exciting to think the recipe was published again in the newspaper.

Here is a link to the recipe of my Raspberry Dream Bars:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Yesterday Clint and I had just pulled into a carpet store parking lot when my cell phone rang.  It is not the usual time for my daughter to call me and this thought passed through my mind.  Lucinda told me my sister had been admitted to the hospital with chest pains and had been having tests.  She said the test results so far were okay.  Clint and I drove to the hospital from the carpet store which is not far from our house.

Patti seemed fine, there was a nice sitting area in her room and we three had a good talk and visit.  Once again all her tests were okay and "they" are not sure what is causing her symptoms. She thinks her problem is a panic attack, this is not the first time she has been admitted to the  hospital for this problem.  She said she feels something inside her begins to radiate out to her body and limbs and she feels she is going to lose consciousness. I had not known she had already spent a night in the hospital, I think now my family is afraid to tell me more bad news but I need to know what is happening.

This morning I have talked to her three times, she was waiting to be discharged
and anxious to get back home.

Last night my insomnia struck again.  After an hour and a half, I decided to get up and read the newspaper.  Instead of reading the newspaper, I then decided to watch Hoarders and had watched only a few seconds when I heard a shotgun being fired behind our house and the immediate screaming of a woman! There was total silence afterwards except for a distant barking of a dog.  This happened around 1:16 AM.  I run into our bedroom in a panic and asked Clint to go back into the living room and turn off the lights. I was afraid this"killer" could see inside the sidelights of our front door, the sidelights that are still uncovered.

I felt like I needed to report this to the police so I called 911 and told what I had heard. The  police called me back about 40 minutes later to tell me there were officers behind our house and wanted to alert us so we would know it was the police if were were to see or hear them.  I looked out and saw no one, they must have been on the other side of the hedges along the fence in back.  Still don't know anymore about the incident.

After this, I was trembling all over.  The idea it was so closeby and the screaming of the woman following the loud bang.  Our little lane looks so perfect, everyones' homes are new, neat and the yards so well attended.  In this area there are some wonderful neighborhoods near some not-so-wonderful neighborhood and homes.  Welcome to Tennessee! This morning I was speaking to a neighbor across the street when I went out to the mail box.  He didn't hear the shotgun.  He and I both thought of the same location as being the source of the gun being shot.

I can do without drama such as my sister ending up in the hospital, hearing shotguns being fired and a woman screaming!  I stopped by the library today on my way home from working out.  When I got to the car my sister had left me a message that she was safely home and nothing could be found wrong with her.  For that I am very thankful.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Little Rewards

Two Broyhill chairs in totally pristine condition
found at the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission (KARM)
Thrift Store.

The location in the photo is NOT where the chairs will stay,
we have to empty boxes of books before they go into our bedroom.
Last Wednesday in the middle of my 40 minutes on the tread mill, I was thinking of running into the thrift store next door after I finished my walking.  I was thinking of running into the store as a little "reward" or "treat" for all my hard work of exercising. I was wanting to look at some tee shirts, I have been needing more cotton tee shirts.  It is important that I note I was giving myself a non-edible reward.  Most of my life I have given myself edible rewards and using food to celebrate the least likely of events ... such as Fridays, getting my computer fixed, finishing a painting, Ground Hog's Day ... well, you get the picture.

Clint and I have been looking for two upholstered chairs for our bedroom. Most that we have found were around $700 for two plus around $100 for delivery.  I forgot all about looking for tee shirts when I walked into the thrift store and saw these two perfect chairs. They were in such perfect condition, not a single flaw to be found. They had to have been donated by a furniture store.  I called Clint, he took a look and agreed, we bought them and they fit perfectly like a puzzle piece in the back our our SUV.  The two chairs were $116 and we were told that amount would feed 71 people at the mission, I am assuming 71 people for one day. That was even more thrilling than finding the chairs!

My little reward or treats as I have called them are small ones, I know. I'm also sharing the simple act of buying a can of paint. Simple but how many times do we see paint described as magical? 

The KARM Thrift Store located at 3555 West Emory Road in Powell, at
the corner of Emory and Clinton Highway. 

For one of the bathrooms I did some online research and chose
Benjamin Moore's Aura Spa Paint in Prescott Green.

Prescott Green is one of their "historical colors",
I like their historical colors.  I'm sure when I start painting
this bathroom I will have to show some "before"
and "after" pics.

(This photo is not very accurate in displaying
the true color.)

"Funny" how this "Aura" can of paint is already
emitting an aura and I haven't even
opened it yet!

Let's see ... what can I give myself as a little reward today?  Maybe light a favorite candle and set up my new little stereo in my room, listen to music as I begin the huge task of getting this room in order.

(I know, Clint, this will make you very happy )

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

My best friend and cousin Vickie on my right, my mom on my left.

♫   Faded photographs, covered now with lines and creases ...   ♫ 

♫  Memories in bits and pieces ...  ♫

Recently I came across this old photograph of me at my sixth birthday party.
I still remember details, it was held at my grandmother's house.  The cake had
little plastic ballerinas on it.  My grandmother made the cake and
decorated it.  I am sure the icing had cream cheese in it.

For a long time I kept some of the ribbons and ballerinas on
one of the paper party plates.  It was hanging up in my room.

Fast forward to the 2000s,  several years ago in a thrift/antique store
I found the exact decorations that were used at that
birthday party so long ago.  Blogging gives me an excuse
 to get out the old ballerinas, plates, forks and spoons.

The pink in the plate comes across as orange in the photo.  Oh, well ...
I do live now in Big Orange Country.   :-)

My birthday cake today consists of one piece of Tiramisu from the Fresh Market.  Clint and I are heading to the gym.  When you work as hard as we have recently, it makes us think twice about having
the temptation of a whole cake around.

Get ready, Clint, tomorrow is your big day!  My mother-in-law always calls and sings Happy Birthday to the family members.  She just called me and it was so sweet to hear her "sing" Happy Birthday to me.  If she happens to read
this blog, she will laugh at me putting "sing" in quotation marks. This family totally understands.

It takes a long time to grow young

~Pablo Picasso

Friday, July 8, 2011

Some Favorite Portraits

Madame X by John Singer Sargent, 1884.

This portrait has a timeless appeal, to me it looks like it could have
been painted today.  I simply adore the black dress.  This portrait was considered
a "scandal in French Society".  The story behind this painting makes
for some verrrry interesting reading!

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustave Klimt  (1907)

Adele Bloch-Bauer II sold for $87.9 million.

The Kiss by Gustauve Klimt, 1907

I like the woman's face better in this
painting than his more famous work,
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer

There had to be a mention of Vincent van Gogh in this post.  I was going
to include one of his colorful self-portraits and ran across
this early work of his, "Self Portrait with Dark Felt Hat", painted in 1886.

This painting "presents himself in phase of transition".

In 2002 I was fortunate enough to see the Van Gogh/Gauguin
Exhibit at The Chicago Art Institute.  I was surprised that one could stand
inches from original van Goghs and Guaguins. I now realize the
place must have been full of  "plain clothes" security.

Imagine being in the same room as "Starry Starry Night!"

Not long ago I was reading some letters exchanged between Van Gogh
and his brother.  It is said Van Gogh sold only one painting
in his lifetime.

His "Portrait of Doctor Gachet" sold a few years ago
for $82.5 million.

Maxfield Parrish, what beautiful work!  This  piece is entitled
"Ecstasy".  Not a typical "head and shoulders" portrait  but oh
so beautiful.  Love the Parrish blue skies and clouds.

Whistler's Mother by James McNeill Whistler

Couldn't help it.  Who could leave out Whistler's 
mom when the topic is portraits?

I have always been fond of this
painting.  "Christina's World" was discovered by me at a very young age in The World
Book Encyclopedia . This painting by Andrew Wyeth, done in 1948,  is of a neighbor,
Christina Olson, who had polio.  She was a neighbor
of the Wyeth's summer home, he would witness this scene
from his window, her crawling along the fields.

It seemed the image of  Mona Lisa was everywhere during the popularity
of the book, "The Da Vinci Code".

This portrait has always been a favorite of mine.  Many years ago
at the Fort Lauderdale flea market, I bought a wrist
watch with this image.  That reminds me,  I need to
get that a new battery for the watch and wear it!

Summer Clouds by Charles Curran, 1917
This beautiful image was discovered when I
saw a large reproduction of it in a
Bombay Store.  I can just taste the
salty air and feel the wind when I see this painting.