Saturday, December 29, 2012

More Gatlinburg Christmas Memories

The tree branches in this photo made from our balcony had a
stained glass effect that I liked.

We were right on the Little Pigeon River and were
amazed at the level that it rose from all the rain.

Zombie-like dude wandering on the sidewalk
outside our hotel.  (snicker)

He worked at the Mysterious Mansion next door to the hotel.

This was the scene of many family photos on
the bridge to the Mysterious Mansion next to our hotel.

This is an ancient hearse.


Not as bleak as it appears, this was Clint's Christmas dinner.  I will
spare you the photo of my left over chile relleno that I had for my dinner.


The frigid water from the river swirling around and
over the rocks.  I loved the mottled design on this rock.

The thimble size of white lightin' that I sampled
burned my gums!  Clint said he did not think it was that strong.  :-)

A singer at the Smoky Mountain Moonshine Holler.


Lost for words on this caption.

Still lost for words ... insert another *snicker* here.

There was a change of plans on our attending the Christmas Eve
service at the First Methodist Church in downtown Gatlinburg.

It was a rainy and cold evening and we had planned on walking.  We
did walk up the steep hill earlier in the day and had hoped to go inside the
church but the door was locked.

Thank you dear readers for your visit.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas in Gatlinburg, 2012

I am so happy to be right where I belong ... in the Smoky Mountains.

One day Clint and I realized for years before we met each other, we both had always entertained the dream of spending Christmas in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  Last
January we drove up there and made reservations.  My how fast the year flew past us.  We had a wonderful time there, we spent three days and it was so peaceful.

Scratch one more item off the Ellisons' bucket list.

Clint enjoying the view from atop the Space Needle in Gatlinburg.

It had been decades since I gone to the top of the Space Needle.
You get one of the best views ever of Gatlinburg and the mountains.

Our hotel was built right on the Little Pigeon River.  The sounds
of the rushing river could be heard from inside our hotel room.

Another great view from our balcony.

Loved those hazy views from our hotel balcony.

The "Clock Peddler" is a very special shop for clock lovers
such as Clint and I.  We had not planned on buying a
beautiful clock.  Merry Christmas to us! 

Christmas day lunch.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Memories

We had mimosas on our third day of partying.

Somehow this blog post got published before I was ready.  I was posting some images from our family reunion on Thanksgiving and Clint's mother's 90th birthday celebration here at our house in Knoxville, TN.

The surprise birthday party was at least six months in the making.
Do you realize how difficult it is to keep a secret like this
from a close family member?  :-)
Since this blog post is also my personal scrapbook, I will continue to add some photos later to it since it published prematurely.

I laughed when Clint said me looking up napkin folding
was about 78th in importance on my to-do list.  I have to add
an artfully folded napkin does add something special to the table.

I had to get online to refresh my memory on how to make
a bishop's hat.

This pile of dishes are stacked up in a precarious manner.  There
was some method to my madness of piling them up
and none were broken.

I love glass, BTW.

Clint's daughter Debbie, her husband Fred and son Alex
sent us this beautiful centerpiece.

"The owl and the pussy cat sailed out to sea in a
beautiful pea green boat ... "  Clint's mother loves poetry
and recites it beautifully.  One of her favorites is the nonsensical poem
by Edward Lear.

Clint wanted to add each city that was
represented from our family members and guests
as they arrived.  I made these little
signs and stuck them on with Velcro.

Clint's daughter Debbie and son-in-law Fred drove
all the way from CT to TN!

Once again, a tablescape I literally threw together
using old, new and thrifted items.

This was how I set the smaller kitchen table.

The dining room table on Thanksgiving.

Eileen, Clint's mom with her three granddaughters ... from left to right,
Wendi, Diane and Debbie.

A group photo made on the day of Eileen's 90th birthday party
during Thanksgiving week.  The date is November 23, 2012.

(I am out of breath in this pic, I used a tripod and self-timer
on the camera.  I had ten seconds to run up the hill and pose
with the rest of the group.  :-)
Clint playing chess with his grandson Clint.
Grandson Canyon is observing and learning.
We are happy that both grandsons have expressed an
interest in chess.  Their grandmother is also interested.  ;-)

BTW, Clint is an excellent chess player so he is a great teacher
of the game.

For Thanksgiving and the birthday party, I made several
dishes/recipes that froze well.  We also had two kinds of quiches,
meat balls, biscuits and ham, cheese grits, crispy pecan
 wafers, homemade cookies, candy, cake, ice cream ...
the list continues.

This Hot Curried Fruit I had at a ladies brunch when we lived in
Plano.  My mother-in-law and I put this together one night
for baking the next morning.  It was one of
my favorite dishes of our three day party.

I made this cake with 90 candles on it for my mother-in-law

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My $20 Table Transformation

It is hard to believe that about three months after our cross country move that we realized our little foyer table was missing.  Gone.  Left this area on the great Mayflower van, never to have been seen again. We loved this little table, one of the small scale pieces from the Bombay Store, a store I also miss very much.

To replace the table I decided on finding an old piece with some character.  I love old furniture and love painting certain pieces.  You do have to be careful about which pieces you paint, you can ruin the value of some antique pieces.

Anyway, I stopped by a very junky looking furniture store here.  The owner was a dark skinned man with long flowing yellow hair and the store was a complete rabbit's warren.  It was downright creepy, him following behind me as I had to lift up quilts/blankets to go into and out of the rooms. There were no doors. I chose this little table and man did it ever have some problems.  Clint thought there was not much hope for it.  The most easily fixed problem was its short leg.  I fixed it by gluing a slice of cork to the bottom of the leg.  It worked like a charm.

I can't help but add the yellow haired man asked if he could help me carry the table to the car.  He asked me this as I was struggling to get it through the door to take to the car.  I thought if he had to ask me such a thing instead of actually just picking it up himself and carrying it a few feet outside to the car for me, that he was ill mannered.

I decided at that instant I would not be going back into that rabbit's warren again.

I sanded the top, primed it one day when I had primer already on my paint roller from priming the dining room wall for the mural.  I will spare you the problems of large screws, bolts and added on pieces of wood for support at the top of the legs.  Hey, but what do you expect for $20?

For the top I decided on decoupage, using old foxed and yellowed pages from a 1920s English Literature school text book.  My favorite part of the pages that I selected for the decoupage was the script writing, notes back and forth between two students.  One note read, "I bet he was mad when he saw me sitting with you last night." This message must have been written to a boy.

I used Mod Podge for the decoupaging.  Lesson learned:  For a smooth surface, apply an even coat to the surface upon which the paper will be applied.  Also apply a thin even coat to the surface of the paper that will be placed on the just applied Mod Podge surface.  This way there will be less air pockets and wrinkles.

Gathering up things I already had around the house, I was quite pleased with our new "old" table.  It appears to be a perfect fit.


Monday, December 3, 2012

The Mysterious Handsome Man at Church

The Parish Handbell Choir had just finished a beautiful version of "Advent Fantasy" when the man slipped into the end of the pew directly in front of us yesterday at church.  Having not seen this man before, I assumed his wife must have been singing in the choir.

One, meaning man or woman, could not escape noticing this impeccably dressed handsome man. He was tall and perfectly groomed.  Being a people watcher (actually studying people), the wheels began to turn in my brain. Later I learned there was also some wheel turning in Clint's brain regarding this stranger. It didn't take me long before I realized I knew this man's name.

During the times of the congregation singing hymns, if this man sung his voice was not audible to us or was totally nonexistent. Even though he may have never sung during the service, Clint and I both noticed his gently swaying back and forth to the music. He just happened to be in front of me during the procession line for communion and we were right beside of each other kneeling when we received communion. He was one of the first around us to rise and head back to the pew after communion. 

Within a few minutes the man left the service before the closing hymn and benediction.  He left as swiftly as he had entered.

I came away from this that the man did not sing lest someone around him recognize his world famous voice.  This Grammy Award winning singer simply wanted to peacefully attend a church service, pray and commune with God without all the worldly adoration that has come with his fame.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Week

On our way to church a couple of weeks ago.

This was snapped from the car window at
a red light.  We joined the church this
particular morning which was November 4, 2012.

The "embers" fading a little in this second shot ...

Nothing left but "smoke" in this third and last photo.

Clint called my attention to these
bird tracks on our frost covered deck
yesterday morning.  I learned
birds have warm feet!

Those are seeds :-)

Here I am at 6:15 am watching a video on
napkin folding.  I had needed a refresher
course on the bishop's hat fold.

Did you know the art of napkin
folding goes back to the time of Louis XIV?

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!