Concert, Dinner and Shopping in Franklin, TN and other July 4th Weekend Activities!

Gabes, Franklin, TN near Cool Springs Mall

Saturday afternoon, we began excursion #2 of the day. We went by Gabes, the Cool Springs discount store. It was a LOT busier than in January when we went. Matter of fact, just people in your way a little more than you wanted. The isles are small and with a buggy two people can’t go down them well. But we got through the maze. I bought a couple of clothing pieces. I had my cart stacked with pants to try on as I just knew the fitting rooms would be open. But no, they lost some sales since I could not try on clothes. I mean…really? At this point they need to be open!!

I am going to put a “pants buying” mission on the calendar so I can get a shopping day for this. I also could use a few summer pieces for week since I have gained weight again and had given away all my large sizes. Ugh! I need to go the other direction. It’s always a battle on a normal basis, but give us a year like last year and then like this year – and we are having to eat horribly on the go, fast food and such. Plus Mom eats a lot of fattening type foods (white bread, not whole grain, a lot of burgers, regular pasta and not whole grain, fried foods, etc.) and we end up eating it too. For example, I gave up chips but those are back in the house. A huge temptation for me. So once I get myself a bit settled, I need to go back to working on my weight. ::sigh:: Once I lose again, I have two big containers of clothes waiting on me!

So I only have the two pair of jean capris for summer and really need at least ONE more pair to avoid having to do extra darks. Anyway, at Gabes, I bought a lot of the pump hand soap. We go through that pretty fast and I like to buy different kinds. I buy those face wash towelettes and I bought a bunch of those and some cosmetic items. It’s “the hunt” and the “good buys” that are fun to find.

The Bottle Shop, Franklin, TN

George got a gift card to the Bottle shop. I think it was for letting Katy and Cody have his car for a week. So we went and picked out a few things from there. It’s just a great place for finding a few special bottles of wine with good prices. They also have a few liquor items and also craft beer that you can take home in growlers. We never do though as we are usually doing other things and not going straight home. They also have a little gift section, including cards.

The Bottle Shop, Franklin, TNG
Gift card from the gift shop section, The Bottle Shop, Franklin, TNG
Gamay, a French Wine we love, The Bottle Shop, Franklin

You may have heard me talk about Gamay before. We had bought this and really liked it. I kept it in my photos for a long time so we could buy another one. And then I didn’t find it again, and finally just erased the photo. Now I found it! lol

We then had just enough time to get to our 5:30 reservations at Americana Taphouse. I picked this restaurant as the others nearby, Gray’s, 55 South, and a few others were just a little more pricey than I really thought we should spend right now. Instead $25 to $35 for an entre plate plus ala carte for everything you add, I was looking for $15 to $24 ish. We always add drinks, sometimes an appetizer or salad anyway. So “the price was right” at this restaurant. I had fish and chips and added a Caesar salad.

Americana Taphouse, Franklin, TN

As six o’clock approached, more people began arriving and the place was almost entirely full by the time we left. Note to self: five-thirty is an excellent time to eat dinner out around these parts!

Americana Taphouse, Franklin, TN

The Americana Taphouse is still owned by Puckets. It’s no longer Pucket’s Boathouse. It was hard to keep fresh seafood coming in and they flipped it around to be more accommodating for what they could resource. So it’s kinda like REALLY GOOD pub food, but with a few extra Nashville like flairs, like George’s Hot Chicken PBLT – Pimiento, Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato sandwich. They also had fish tacos. I almost had that, but I really wanted the cod (fish and chips). It was all really good!

I would have taken a pic of the food but we were so deep in conversation about a few things and having a great time talking so I didn’t even think about it.

Paleta de Mango Kolsch, Americana Taphouse, Franklin, TN
Savory Spice Shop, Franklin, TN

Shopping on Main Street in Franklin is quite fun. Best to go before night time as many shops close, and even some were closed for the 4th weekend. Some are family owned type of shops, so anything goes. But some chose to be open. This spice store, The Savory Spice Shop, was open. We bought some pork chop seasoning and some dried shallots. They are very attentive and will let you try anything as long as they open it for you and give you the sample. A great little place!

East Main, Franklin, TN

“Oops! We have time left over, we shopped all around, what we gonna do now?”

“Well, there is little Wine Bar down the street? Wanna sip a glass of wine til concert time?”

The wine bar inside was calm, dimly lit, and quiet. Honestly, it was really really nice! The outside vibe was sunny with laughter and conversation. We chose the quiet spot with air conditioning, lol. We enjoyed picking the wine from the menu. I chose a French wine and we sipped, talked, and also sat some in quietness, checked phones, etc. We had an hour after all, so we could do it all. The bathrooms were nice. It was a converted old house and in the bathroom you could see the “charm” of the old house. It gave me a quick desire to “redo an old house” but then I thought of my age and quickly changed my mind. I just love to decorate is all. And it would be fun to decorate an old house into a comfort zone mixture of lace and wood. I’d have to give up my beach vibe rooms. Ahh, fun to dream but, enhhhh, probably more fun to just travel and decorate a cottage up if I ever did have to move again or RV’d with a little cottage base. (hint hint). Not gonna happen, but fun to dream.

Then on to the Franklin Theatre where our concert would be. Often I end up way behind George. He thinks I’m with him and I’ve stopped to take a pic. He looks around often though, he’s used to it. He’ll discover I’m not by him and I’m somewhere behind taking pics. I noticed my iPhone was not taking good pics also – I think I changed the settings back when River was here. I adjusted it a bit to get some type of photo and I guess never changed it back. I changed it back yesterday and it should be set to take more pics and adjust itself to the lighting. Either that or Apple’s done something with an update to make it worse where you will want the next new phone, lol. They wouldn’t do that really would they? Wait didn’t they do something to the battery life so you’d you buy the next one? I think they admitted that one didn’t they? If you know, let me know.

Gray’s on Main, Franklin, TN
George and Sonya, headed to see Striking Matches, Franklin, TN

Absolutely LOVED and enjoyed the Striking Matches concert. We had seen them years ago at Third and Lindsley. George bought their 3 CD’s Morning, Noon, and Night. And we got to meet them. What a treat!

A horrible and tired picture of me with half styled hair and not a lot of makeup or glam! But what a surprise! Was happy to have my picture taken with such talented folks that I’ve listened to for a long time. They have a YouTube Channel that they post some of their songs on. Just look for Striking Matches wherever you listen to your music.

These two met at Belmont and were thrown together in class to do a collaboration and what a collaboration it was! It’s funny how things come to be. Love watching them perform.

So we got home about 11:30 as we had to drive about 45 to an hour back to Mount Juliet. Bed felt good. I had clean sheets as I had changed them a bit earlier Saturday afternoon.

Sunday morning, I got up to get dressed for church so we could head out. George informed me that Mom had changed her mind and didn’t want to go and was fixing breakfast instead. So I grabbed a cup of coffee and breakfast was ready. Mom said we were out so late she thought it was best to stay home. I told her it wasn’t a problem that we were prepared to go as I had gotten up to get dressed. Then she said really the main reason was that she was hungry as she did not eat much the night before since we were gone.

So with breakfast on the table and the surprise last minute change of her plans, we didn’t go to church. I did my devo as I do EVERY day, not just on Sunday. And I guess we’ll see what next week brings. lol

So with not spending half a day out going to church, it opened up the morning. And I was able to take a walk after breakfast. I ate breakfast before I was really hungry. I usually wait til I’m hungry before eating. Anyway, didn’t want to be rude so I ate and then went for a walk to walk off dinner and breakfast.

The walk was nice.

We have some cherry tomatoes about to come in. And there are lots of herbs. George brought a lot of herbs in the house this weekend to dry.

Can you believe how busy our couple of days have been?

Then we went to see Paul and Judy yesterday. They are moving soon and had some things for sale and wanted to see if we wanted anything. George bought some books and Judy gave me a couple of books that she had bought that I’m looking forward to reading. It’s REALLY making me want to read. I think it’s a good time in my life to read more and get out of my own head a bit. I was so excited to meet their dog! Their dog was excited to meet us. We hit it off so well that Judy said “you can’t have my dog!” lol lol lol His name is Ozzie! He looks so much like Maisy dog only without the white spots.

Oh what fun and what delight this gave me, to pet and hug dog that looked and acted like my Maisy girl. I had prayed I would meet another dog like that. And I believe I did. He was a sweet dog. I’m so glad to meet him.

On the way home, George surprised me with a quick stop at a local taproom, Catch 22. We had a brewsky before heading home. Once home, I helped Mom change the sheets on her bed, fixed up a good lighted area for our “Puzzle Station”, which we started, and we watched some of my sailing shows, and George began fixing steaks. He actually grilled them! They were so good. They are good anyway he fixes them. We then began watching a history about Nashville after dinner – while waiting for dark thirty so the fireworks would start. We only got half way through. It’s very interesting.

Once it got dark we headed out to see the fireworks all around while sitting on the front porch. I do believe we made some memories. We had good disabilities for some fairly impressive shows. I think we were seeing a show from Circle K ranch not too far away and just at an angle where there were not many trees. Then neighbors down the street had some and a few streets over. We had some good ones.

We ate watermelon on the porch.

And most impressive was the view I saw from the news of the gathering in downtown Nashville. Wow. Just Wow. Everyone celebrating not only July 4 but just being able to get together as a crowd again. Here’s a screenshot.

Anyway, what a great 4th! One of the best ones I’ve had! Also want to share a pic that Mom shared on Facebook.

Mom, Me, and Dad

The scar on my right eyebrow (left in the pic, lol) shows. Before seatbelt requirements, I hit the dashboard once when the car driver slammed on the breaks – not sure who was driving. I don’t know what happened. A nurse was at Nanny’s house when we arrived and said “I think you better go get stitches” so we went to ER. Now I can “do my brows” – and have since high school – so you can’t see the scar. This pic was over 50 years ago I guess, lol.

Meanwhile in TX…….I can see River in my Dad. And Dad in River! lol

Ok ya’ll. What an entry. That should keep you for a few days. I’ll be back sometime before the work week is over – 2 to 3 days. So here’s what’s up:

I have to do two days worth of work tomorrow so it’s a LONG day – going in early and possibly staying late. Today we have a low key day, don’t wanna go anywhere but probably the store. I need to make sure Mom is set up for the week and me too, with lunches and snacks for work. I need to do some ironing for the week. I will try to do the bucket list and read and puzzle and make my Italian chicken cooked in a bag today. This week is kinda low key. We may do trivia night Thursday night with friends. Next Saturday is the day we go to look at flooring. 😉 We will be planning Mom’s birthday later in the month. I think she wants to do Hermitage Steakhouse so we’ll get that on the calendar and make reservations. Glad for a low key week though and now maybe things will settle a bit and we can relax some. I’ve enjoyed having a peaceful two hours to work on the blog. Need to get breakfast and start on some chores/cleaning so I can enjoy the day later.

Blogging with Nothing to Say, But Did it Anyway

Photo by RODNAE Productions on

It’s my day to blog and I have absolutely nothing for ya! How does this happen? All work no play I suppose. We’ve worked hard and long, and have come home, knocked a couple of to do items off the list, rebooted laundry, picked up a few things, ate dinner, maybe watched a small show, and then to bed. Not much to write about.

I’ve felt good and been in a good place the first part of the week, gung ho and going after it. Today I feel beaten and tired and feel I have half a brain and half of a body. I suppose I went to bed an hour later than normal. George and I stayed up late trying to get my sign-on to take with Google/You Tube on the Sony TV. Somehow yesterday I got signed out and it will not let me sign back in. So I cannot watch my YouTube shows. How does that happen? I think it may be Google having issues. I’ve not had quite such a time in my life trying to get signed on to something. I tried, George tried. We gave up finally. I found a website that said people were reporting issues signing in beginning on the 28th. So maybe it’s not just us. I’m not sure how I got signed off though to begin with – whether Google signed everyone off of YouTube, or if it was one of us that clicked the wrong buttons, or what. But it sure showed off Google/YouTube’s issues. Hope they get it fixed. The TV is not much good for me if I can’t use it and the software to watch the shows I want. We can still stream Netflix but most of my shows are on YouTube. Oh well.Anyway, I can still get YouTube everywhere else, but just not on the big Sony TV. Arghhhh. Life is a scam, lol.

Coffee is really good this morning! And we have eaten well all week. Dinner included a honey ham for a couple of nights and Mom’s spaghetti last night. She is learning her way through the house, kitchen, laundry room bit by bit. We laid a lot of the ingredients out for her. It’s aggravating to try to find spices in our house because there are so many and she can’t half read them anyway with her eyesight so we laid out the ones she needed. I was worried she would cut herself cutting onions. But she did just fine. I showed her the big butcher knife which is what we use. It’s intimidating and evil looking but it’s the only knife I trust to cut an onion with without slicing your hand using a dull knife elsewhere.

Mom tries to keep busy which is nice of her. If she sees laundry in a basket or dryer she will fold it. If a pet makes a mishap, she will run the carpet cleaner over it. She’s windexed a couple of windows on the inside.

George begins a summer schedule of sorts. Instead of working longer days and getting every other Friday off, they decided to let them work from home so many days a month. I think once a week. They alternate. George’s day this week is today. They told them they needed to be “somewhat” available but could do other things, like mowing the yard for example, lol. Today George’s “other thing” is going to his uncle’s visitation and funeral. I would have liked to have gone but the visitation is during working hours. I’ve missed enough work already this year and will be missing some more with all the doc appts and meetings and movings and such on top of what we already had planned with PTO days and all. So I just can’t miss work. I have to save them for Mom and all that is going on this year.

We are looking forward to the 4th weekend. Mainly for the “time” but of course it is a fun and honorable weekend to be happy for our Independence and to think of what all happened to become that way and for those that fought for it. I feel like we are losing our independence though, slowly and surely and so I’m not proud of that. I’m proud of what we once were. We can’t say what we want to say, we are a nation divided, we are a different nation, we are a melting pot that has burned itself into the bottom of the pan. We are told what to do, what not to do, what to say, what not to say. Everything is complex and no longer simple. You have to jump through hoops to do something simple. No one can agree on anything. Evil is moralized. We are living in Sodom and Gomarah. Lord rescue us quickly and don’t let us look back!

Someone once told me the world wasn’t getting more evil a few years back that it was there and we just didn’t see it as much until now. I was shocked. The world IS getting more and more evil. How can one say it is not. To say that is to overlook how life is conducted all around you, to live in a bubble, to not hear the news, to not see the state of being, to not see TV ever, to not hear the words and see the actions of our youth, to not open your eyes, or ears, to have not read the Bible. Yes, it may be publicized more, but it IS MORE EVIL. Don’t you think?

So in the meantime while here on this earth we just have to trust God, be calm and carry on. I guess that is my phrase of the week.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on

I’ve asked God for more humor in my life, to be able to laugh at life and not take it so seriously. There were a few laughs yesterday that gave me giggles. Both times were impromptu and likely never able to replay the scenario. It was funny in the moment. But I’ll try. While talking with a friend/coworker, she was talking about something that aggravated her to no end. I told her she needed to figure a way to UNHOOK from it and let it go. She made a noise that sounded like unhooking “chachuck”. I followed up her noise with a nasal-y noise like “boyehoyehoye-oing” that sounded like it bouncing away. We both laughed so hard. A silly little moment in which we communicated through made up noises. Who’d have thought. Hilarious!

So we are looking forward to the 4th weekend, as I was saying and then got off on a sideboard about life and it’s evil ways. But looking forward to our eating, our playing, working on to do lists, and so forth.

So I’ve tried to just type whatever comes out today. I got something out! It may not be helpful or newsworthy but it’s the state of the house! The coffee is good, it’s quarter end and busy at work, and trying to keep things swinging on the positive sides at home.

I’m afraid to bring up if we are going to church Sunday. lol. I have no idea. I will go with the flow. I may go buy an RV and head to the woods. lol. Just kidding. I can do that through my shows if the damn YouTube and Google will let me sign in on the Sony, darn it!

Well, better get ready and get to work! Hopefully more interesting things to share in a couple of days!

“Be Calm and Carry On”, Build Site Progress, and a Lighter To Do List

We went to church Sunday and ate with friends and then went by the build site for Mom’s house. The concrete slab has been placed. We were very surprised that the houses next to it were already framed and on their way! How exciting is that? Watching it become real! I think it was important for all of us to see after all the hard work we’ve done getting Mom out of the house and into our own, as we await and watch the progress. How exciting!

As for the church visit? Well Mom said that churches of Christ with the name that has “Hills” in it was code word for being “liberal”. I had never heard that. She fears getting into a church that “allows anything and everything” and allows “certain types of sinners to attend”, which obviously led to discussions about how not everyone in any church is going to be perfect and that we all sin and those with sin obviously need Jesus the most. So a little drama before and after as we held these discussions. Mom has a tendency to raise her voice and get visibly angry when explaining her views, which is not really necessary, but I allowed her to say what she needed to say about it, and then I did as well in a much calmer voice.

If a conversation gets too loud or ugly I boundary it with people, not caring who you are. I don’t like to be yelled at and I will table a conversation if someone starts yelling no matter who you are- whether you are my Mom or an executive. Anger scares me but most of all I don’t want to be talked to that way, and I refuse to be. Luckily with Mom on Sunday – no yells -just raised voices and a “tone” over it.

Unless I get angry too and one will know that I am and I am not quiet either at that point. You don’t want to go there or provoke me b/c I can unleash it. When I get angry will expel everything about you that has bothered me in the past 5 years that I have kept quiet about and it comes out fast and its unarguable! And I will win the conversation. I really don’t like that side of me and I don’t want it to come out. So I will walk on eggshells around people to avoid both them and me getting angry. It’s just not the way to solve things. I have really had to work on that all my life as we have a tendency to react like our role models that we had. It is hard to tame oneself of these tendencies. But now these types of tendencies are perceived as bullying, gaslighting, etc. So we all need to be calm and carry on! lol lol lol

Mom said she didn’t see anything unscriptural taking place but was not particularly happy about the Sunday school discussion which I will refrain from going into as I don’t necessarily see scripture the way my mother does. I DO feel that God’s word is for all sinners and not just a few. I Do feel his word should be open to all. But I do agree that none of us should let our sins be a foothold and I do not feel that God wants us to freely continue in that sin but to continually shed the sin. We agree on that point. But to me, it’s not about agreeing with my Mom. My Mom is not going to judge me in the end —oh wait, what am I saying, Mom’s judges me and others all the time – lol – let me rephrase that – My God’s judgement of me is the one that matters. Like I say I worship Him everyday not just on Sunday. So as far as “the church going” goes, I have given her the church going card to hold her in hand. I really don’t care what she does with the card. It would be nice to be able to go to the church we were used to when we went and where there are so many people we know already but that would too easy right? And that would be what I would prefer to do. It’s never about me though, lol. It’s what Momma wants. I don’t have to take her but I have given her the church going card. That means I’ve promised to take her where she wants to go. I will sacrifice my time and effort to take her where she wants. I want to keep that promise. So like I said, if she wants to worship a corn stalk, I’ll take her. lol lol But I don’t hold any expectations that she will like our church. She had preconceived opinions about it before ever trying it and really already had her mind made up and told me no, until finally she agreed to try it after I told her the person she didn’t like wasn’t going there anymore. Since then she has found another couple that she was told “gave up the Lord” for attending there. Lord, help us all.

I don’t make this stuff up ya’ll. This is my life. This has been my life. It’s a wonder my eyeballs have not stuck permanently as they roll back into my head sometimes at some of the conversations. Most of them ONE WAY until as an adult I realize I have a voice and I’m allowed to have and form my own opinions and I do not have to agree with another person if I don’t want to. That said I want to keep my promises. As long as it is healthy to do so. If it becomes a unhealthy thing, I will boundary it. That is not being rude but that is protecting oneself and keeping oneself safe.

So I put a fun little July 4 decor on the table. I didn’t have a lot of red to choose from. This seemed to be an American kind of centerpiece. Children, worth fighting for, worth having Indepence for. A little Red Wagon is iconic also!

To lighten up the mood from the “church going” tension (isn’t it a shame that has to be the source of tension?) I ordered a puzzle for us to start on the 4th weekend coming up as we have an extra day.

I ended up with this one. How perfect! It’s a larger piece puzzle and a Ravenburger I think if I’m spelling it right. I thought the larger pieces would help Mom to see them. The picture is just so cozy. I look forward to working it.

I only have ONE Reeses left at work and I’m going to have to give them up. When I eat one I immediately want another. So I’m going to have to go to my wellness program chocolates or migrate to only the dark chocolate. Otherwise I will continue to eat two a day. ::sigh:: This is not the new habit I was hoping for, lol.
However, I allowed it during the stress days of moving Mom. We were using more calories anyway and I needed the comfort!

I’m a conflicted bag of horse poo though, because I bought brownie mix at the store last night when I did a big staples run just for me and what I need (and a few things for Mom). I was considering making light trifle cups with blueberry and strawberry, graham crackers and whip cream, this weekend for dessert since it’s a holiday. But no, we’ll go whole hog with brownies and chocolate mint ice cream scoop on top! Not very 4thy but very American! lol

And that is my story and I’m sticking to it!

I also began editing and doing voiceovers for the next video, yesterday morning, keeping with my “every other day blog/vlog” schedule.

Off to work. I’m not going in as early today as I worked early all month to get extra work in so I can take off one afternoon a month to take Mom to the do appt, but instead of taking an afternoon off I ended up burning a PTO day. So I am not going in early today.

I also have made her heart appointment with the new doc. Same group as far as hospital records so they had all her data, just a different doctor so that he is nearby. So that is later in July on a Monday morning. My desk does not get critical until Monday afternoon so I will be ok and rush through it and still get the work done.

I got my to do list done Sunday that I mentioned in the blog – almost all of it! I was so happy. My to do list is lighter this week. Thank goodness. I need to work on my wellness program order, work on dusting, changing out the bathroom rug and washing it, doing our Bucket List calendar (probably this weekend now that summer is half over), and set up the card table and chairs for puzzling.

And I better finish getting ready and get on the road!