Friday, August 11, 2017

Chaos or Organized?

Perhaps this could be described as organized chaos....
This is our "teapot" guest bedroom, and someday I may regret 
posting these photos of one of my favorite rooms in our house. 
It's normally an orderly, and comfortable tea-themed guest room. 
But currently, I am using it as a "staging area" for many of Austin's supplies
for moving into the dorm at Transylvania University later this month.
 I'm known to be a pretty well organized person, 
but these piles of "stuff" depict some of the chaos of planning for an 
eighteen year old boy to move into a typical freshman dorm with the 
bathroom down the hall.  
This has been a learning experience for me. There 
are a lot of changes from the days I lived on a college campus. 
Back in my day, I coordinated my dorm room furnishings 
and colors with my roommate. 
Boys don't care what they take or if the colors clash. 
And, there are online companies specializing is selling complete dorm room
linens and all needed supplies. Trips to Walmart are not necessary except
for possibly toothpaste. 
We are awaiting a mailing with instructions with an exact time 
to arrive on move-in day, and I hope a lot more detailed information.
I will keep you updated. 
In the meantime, please bear with me as I'm spending very little time blogging. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A New Tea Party Book

My copy of the new book from Hofffman Media's TeaTime Magazine, 
Teatime Parties Afternoon Tea to Commemorate the Milestones of Life 
arrived before we departed for travels to North Carolina and Tennessee. 
I decided not to take this pretty book with me on the road trip, 
so that I could savor it with a nice quiet cup of tea at home. 
I am always inspired by the photography, stories, tablescapes 
and recipes in the issues of TeaTime.
In addition to tea tips and resources, Teatime Parties
is exactly as the sub-title indicates, 
an afternoon tea planning guide for ten celebrations of life's milestones,
from a "baby gender reveal" to a "golden anniversary.
  My photography is not very good in these photos due to evening light, 
but the color photos in the book are vibrant and lovely.   
I appreciate all the Hoffman Media books for the convenience of having
 the TeaTime Magazine photos, ideas, and recipes organized. 
One of these days I may clean out and give away
my collection of all TeaTime Magazines like I did my copies 
of Southern Living.  I'm just not ready, yet! 
(I kept wondering what my mother and Aunt Mary would think  
if they knew about the boxes
 of treasured Southern Living Magazines departing my house.)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Smoky Mountains Travel 2017

 We drove through the Smoky Mountains to the top
then down the other side to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN
for three days and nights of fun and games. 
I only took a few photos, but trust me, it was non-stop activity. 

 Breakfast at The Old Mill and dinner and show at the Dixie Stampede.

We returned home on Wednesday evening after a five-night trip
to NC and TN with three tired kids and two very tired adults.  
A personal note about Gatlinburg: 
There was obvious damage due to the unfortunate wildfires 
of November, 2016 which caused more than $800 million in damages 
and the loss of 14 lives. 
However, we were pleased to see tourists and travelers
 were abundant in the national park and 
at the attractions.  A few areas in the park were off-limits, especially 
Chimney Tops where the fire is suspected to have started. 
There is a lot of construction in the town of Gatlinburg,
 and there are new attractions and places to stay. 
The Smoky Mountain - Gatlinburg area is a place my family 
has visited my entire life (since I was a baby). It was our choice for our 
family to visit and to financially support the community which we
often visited three or more times a year. 
We have friends and neighbors who lost their condos and vacation homes. 
It's a convenient weekend getaway for us as it's only
 a three-hour drive from this part of Kentucky.
I did not take any photos in Gatlinburg this time, but we have our memories. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cataloochee Guest Ranch 2017

The Cataloochee Guest Ranch, one mile above Maggie Valley, NC,
is one of our favorite family places to visit. 
This was Peyton's first time to go with us, and his first time to ride a horse. 

And, Grandpa bringing up the rear. 
 Break time on top of the mountain. 
 No phone service at the ranch, but they found service on top of the mountain. 
Trout fishing after the ride. 

 The scenery is amazing, the food delicious, and the activities are fun. 
And, of course, I brought Harney's Queen Catherine Tea (in sachets) 
to enjoy at the Ranch house. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Japanese Green Tea In - Issaku

According to their website, this green tea is a premium 
"highest quality" rare green tea from the Arahataen Green Tea Farm in Japan. 
It is a healthy tea and is low in caffeine.
 I enjoyed the mildness and natural sweetness of this
 Isaku Green Tea.  I would be happy to drink this tea daily.
 Steeping Instructions:
Dissolve 2 tsp. in 8 oz. 175 - 185 degree water
Steep 2 minutes.  Strain and serve hot.
Both green teas I received from JapaneseGreenTeaIn,
the Gokuzyo and the Issaku are very pleasant tasting
and have several important health benefits.
Both teas are a "win-win" in my opinion. 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Japanese Green Tea In - gokuzyo

I received samples of Gokuzyo High Grade Green Tea from 
According to the website, here
Gokuzyo translates to "The Highest Grade" in Japanese.
This tea has several health benefits and is low in caffeine.
Please take a look at the website for a more detailed description.  
 My description:  This is a very mild, delicate tasting green tea.
I enjoyed this high quality Gokuzyo green tea very much.  So much that I could easily
sip on several cups each day.
Anyone who knows me well, knows i don't like green tea.
This is an exception to my own rule!  

 Brewing instructions:  
Dissolve 2 tsp. in 8 oz. 175 - 185 degree water
and steep 1 to 2 minutes. 
Strain (I used a disposable infuser) 
Visit their beautiful website at
to learn more about their imported green teas.  
Please note:  Kei Nishida, founder of the company has written
a book available on Amazon and the company website.  
The title is: 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Visiting The Greenbrier

This is been a very busy summer at work for Glenn. 
No long travels for us, just a few days here and there.
We traveled 5.5 hours to the Greenbrier in
White Sulphur Springs West Virginia
I had visited once before for our 25th anniversary.
Glenn visited many times in the 1980's on business.
We wanted Austin to have The Greenbrier experience.
We arrived on Monday afternoon.  The first view of the massive hotel
when you round the bend after entering the grounds is breathtaking.
Afternoon Tea, served daily from 4:15 - 5:00 pm
is actually hot or iced tea and a round buffet table of cookies and mini pastries
It is served in the Upper Lobby surrounded with
smaller rooms with hundreds of comfortable places to sit.
On Monday, Austin and I sat in the Victoria Writing Room.

After dinner Monday, Austin and Glenn bowled two games. 
Tuesday, they went on an all day white water rafting trip on the New River.
I don't know anything about rafting, but I heard them describe it as Class 4 and 5 Rapids.
I visited the world-famous Greenbrier Spa during the morning,
and enjoyed a food preparation demonstration in the afternoon.
On Wednesday morning, we toured the Bunker, which had been a secret partnership
with the U.S. government, described as "at one time one of the nation's more guarded secrets," 
The Bunker was a "Secret Capitol" to be used by Congress and the Senate in case
of a nuclear attack.  We were not allowed to take photos, but information is on
the Greenbrier website.  The 35-year secret was exposed in 1992 by a Washington Post reporter. 
After lunch, the guys went Sporting Clay shooting, then Austin visited the Spa.
The decorations and artwork are very impressive.  
The menus and food served in the Main Dinning Room and several restaurants are outstanding.  
The service and hospitality are superb.  

 We were making memories with Austin, and I believe we succeeded!


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