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.

It’s Always Complicated! But things are Looking Up!

Good morning all. Here’s a pic of us all at the zoo from Sunday. I get to see the little fella today again and then again on Saturday for a brief bit as they fly West. The time is quick and short and we don’t get to see much of them when they are here because they have so many to see. Life is always complicated.

I went and retrieved Mom and Fancy from Columbia last night. So they are here to meet Little Roo. Mom is going back to Columbia with George on Friday as he has taken the day off. He will be going to assess what is left of the furniture and likely do some measuring so he can plan the logistics of the U-Haul Move on Father’s Day weekend. And he’ll bring a load back of whatever is left in the house of smaller items. The move is a bit complicated as there are 5 (I think) china cabinets and 1 curio cabinet – made of glass that are going, two of which are coming here and I’ll be getting rid of one that I have. The freezer is coming here. Two bedroom furniture and mattress suites and a lot of other stuff goes to storage along with most of the china cabinets, including an extra large armoire and then a very huge wall size book shelf comes here that George is elated to get! There’s still some patio furniture. So very odd sized things, huge things and many many loads and to two different places. We can and DO see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mom was able to give away the really nice furniture she had that she won’t be able to take so we don’t have to pay storage for THOSE. There was no time to sell it properly or having a moving sale. Mom said looking back she wish she didn’t have to sell her house so quickly and could have held off til hers was built. But of course they would not build her house if she didn’t have a contract on hers since she had the contingency. If she had cash she could have done it that way. Not everyone has that luxury. Life has to be complicated!

What has made things more stressful is having to spend your beloved spare time in CareNow and urgent care center for 3 days in the past week for a cyst on my back that decided to act up and develop cellulitis. I have antibiotics that end in a day or two. I’ve been able to go without a bandage now as it is healing up. It itches like the dickens. (I guess that is a southern word? My grandmother used to say it. It refers to anything devilish). Itching is a good sign. I hope it is healing. But they did not get the entire sac so likely it will mean surgery at some point. I really want to just leave it alone for a long while. Nobody has time for surgery. I can’t even find time to do the colonoscopy. It’s ok I don’t really want to do that either. Life has to be so complicated!

WELL, HELLO there! One can only laugh at the things that happen in one’s busy day. A guy comes in with this thing on a pole and says excuse me I need to borrow your space for a minute. And puts this thing above on the vent. LOL LOL LOL Large amounts of very cold air comes down and he says “oh yeah that’s some cold air right there”.

Yeah it is. For a long time we had a system that was very comfortable. Except for maybe when a cold front came through and it had to be adjusted and whoever did the adjusting did a good job. At least the masses were happy for the most part.

Well now there is some fancy smart system in house that is supposed to be all elaborate and somehow just “knows” when to make the air come on and off. Only we can’t control it in house – I think there is a God of the Air Conditioning Unit somewhere up in the sky that determines what our temp is. Well it maybe a fancy system but it’s not working very well – well let me rephrase that, the air works great – it’s freezing all of us out of our office igloos. lol. It’s hot and humid in the office until about 10 when the air blows and it’s like the air has been captured from the arctic zone. Everyone reaches for sweaters and turns on office heaters. My guess is that this system was “supposed” to save money in the long run. My next guess is that we are burning more on electricity than ever before.

As they try to fix it – it’s getting worse b/c now instead of just adding a sweater or turning the heater on for the rest of the day – you go back and forth, LOL. Fan off, Sweater on, heater on, sweater off, heater off, fan on – all day long in a cycle. I blog this not to complain, but to share my amusement of how our techie world can sound so right but yet go so wrong. I’m not upset over it though, I’m amused and LOL’ing at the situation. I’m fine I just put on a sweater and adjust what I can around me. I’m adapting! And to have some guy come in with this above my head just sent me rolling! I laughed out loud! How can we make something so simple so complicated?

Lots of cloudy days this week and rain all around. We got a good shower at home the other night and I had a glass of wine on the porch as the rain storm approached. Monday night was the urgent care night. Tuesday night was the night I had to cut George’s hair and he cut the foam for my bed. Still was able to have a “wine sit” – I like that term don’t you? I had a wine sit in between chores.

I put fresh sheets on the bed for Mom’s bedroom which I’m officially moved out of now except for some jewelry from my armoire that I need – only getting a few main favorites for getting ready for work. I also had to get my sheets ready for my bed after George got the foam cut and we hauled the heavy thing upstairs.

I took a pic before putting the covers on it so you could see the foam. You should have seen the two of us trying to get this floppy thing up the stairs and through the house. In the stair well we had to change places (on the stairs) and pass each other which made for some interesting moments. It was hilarious. Too bad that was not on video!

I tried to do a panoramic view of my office and I’m sorry it was not a good photo as I left the lights blaring. Here was my next attempt after tweaking things a bit.

I am so very excited to have my little “space”. It is like a dorm room almost all to myself. It’s a triangle of sorts for sleep, creativity, and meditation/devotion. Roger’s bed of course is there as he likes that room too during the day time. I would leave the door open and let him sleep in there at night and come and go as he roams but I have to close the door as where my bed is, I can see the hallway lights if someone gets up and also a sensor light turns on – with the temperature control with Nest. So I will wake up all night if I leave the door open. I tried it last night and was awakened twice by people getting up. And the purpose of sleeping in here is to actually get sleep! Life has to be complicated.

Deer met me at the office entrance the other morning. It delights my soul!

So I’m hanging in there! And things are progressing along. Mom will officially be moved in with us- in a week from now. And then after Father’s Day weekend we can turn our sights to doing things around here and maybe enjoying ourselves a bit more.

We have been so crazy busy that we haven’t even had time to go to the grocery and get staples. I don’t even have eggs. George is gone to get us a biscuit, bless him. I was going to fix biscuits and peanut butter and jelly as Mom said she could eat that and be fine last night. This morning she says she’s tired of biscuits and peanut butter! LOL So biscuit out it is. She wanted to go out to eat breakfast but we are eating lunch out and dinner out with Cody and Katy. It gets complicated. Mom does not like sushi and we are going to go eat sushi so Mom will likely stay here and I’ll go get her a meal she will eat so she does not starve for lunch. Then we will all go out to eat dinner at a new restaurant tonight that Mom will like. Katy has been wanting to eat at the sushi place for almost two years and it has been planned for a long time so I’m not even asking to change the plans. Mom will have to adapt and either go or stay. But I’ll see she has food to eat. Life is always complicated. LOL

I realized as I typed this blog piece today that most everything I mentioned had its complications to it, so I went back and added the prase “life is complicated” to the end of nearly every topic. Seems fitting. Although life is complicated, I’m doing my best to bloom where I can. I’m sorry I don’t feel like much of a blossom – but more like a withered flower! LOL LOL

But some things never change. Even though life is complicated. Just try to be your best self. And while this may sound pessimistic, it IS very much realistic instead. I’m reporting it as it is. So if you only want the good rosy perspective, that would be amiss.

But I can say that yes, things are looking up, things are progressing. We are getting a tiny bit of time off for some fun. We are getting to see our Little Roo, the move will wrap up soon, and a different phase of Project Momma will be in session.

All is good and God’s in charge. Until Mom wakes up that is. ;-). Just kidding.

Family Day: Nashville Zoo, Hot Chicken, and Yee Haw Brewery

We had a fabulous time at the Zoo with Little Roo! George might have been teaching him the “pull my finger” trick. lol. You know it’ll happen! We loved getting to spend the day with him. And I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed the zoo. It has improved over the years.

It was going to be a late lunch and so I had been craving a soft serve ice cream cone for over a week. So it was mine to be had.

So I apologize for not having the official name of this particular type of gorilla monkey. And I’m too sleepy/lazy/busy to look it up right now. But walking into this zone has you thinking “what’s happening?”. The noise can be described as “exciting, a party atmosphere, inviting, intriguing and captivating”.

Here, I will post a video I took. Listen to this! It’s no sound like I’ve ever head before. It was intriguing and even a bit confusing. There were so many sounds at once. Can you imagine being in the wild and being around this? It’s only 16 seconds. There were short sounds and long sounds. lol

Why yes there IS a Roo with me! And he is cuter than your Roo! But we still enjoyed and loved your Roos.

I cannot believe that we got to walk among the Kangaroo’s. My heart leapt with excitement. They allowed us to pet them but only from behind on their back. Not on their heads. They can bite and scratch but apparently if you don’t bother them from the front, they are good as they let children go in and pet them. We could only stay on the path though.

This one was cleaning her pouch.

We met Molly (George’s cousin) and her two grandchildren at the zoo. They had zoo passes.

This one was being lazy.

Can you find the red bird? I didn’t have time to zoom in. I was afraid he would leave me. But a red bird flew in beside us. A few times yesterday. Usually there are two. This one lingered as I walked by.

Molly told us we had to go see the monkeys in the restroom. I just thought it was art or a statue or something. But no, there ARE REALLy Monkeys in the bathroom.

I love the bamboo forest. River Roo fell asleep during the bamboo forest as his Mom sang to him quietly. She is a good Mom.

I loved the flamingos too! And the landscaping at the zoo was so nice.

It was a great day to go to the zoo. The rain threatened and it sprinkled but never actually came a downpour. So it all worked.

Katy and George rode the zip line. This is only 9 seconds.

Then on to HattieB’s for Nashville Hot Chicken. Notice Little Roo has on his zoo shirt?

My sides were potato salad and grits with bacon. All carbs of course, lol.

It rained only a tad bit while we were driving to Yee Haw Brewery. The kids requested Hattie B’s and the Brewery where Susan and Kevin (George’s sister and husband) joined us.

Lighting was not good from my angle. But here I got to hold him for a long long time. And you know what he did? He flirted with a table of girls next to us. He caught their attention and grinned and smiled at them! They could not finish their conversation because they just had to stop and smile back and have a conversation with him. lol

When he got too sleepy but would not go to sleep, we gave him to his Mom. She tried but he wouldn’t go to sleep there. He cried all the way to dropping us off at the house (they have George’s car for the week). There is nothing you can do for them when you are driving. They have to be in the car seat. Bless his heart he was so tired. So I guess he went home and got a long nap.

And I went home and laid down and snoozed. I was tired myself.

And now it is Monday morning and I’m really wanting a day off in a big way. I’m laughing because I just had two days off and another one coming Thursday. But I’m really needing a quiet day at home where I’m not doing anything but cleaning, organizing, and just relaxing. I got a partial one Saturday morning. And I’m right back where I started though Thursday night. We have been home just long enough to mess up. The laundry built back up again, the kitchen needs attention, dishwasher needs rebooting, the floors are messed up again and need vacuuming. And we have many chores and to do lists left unchecked. It’s so aggravating to hardly ever be home. So much I need to do and want to do and all I can do is put it on a list and park it there and watch it sit there from day to day. So one day at a time. Maybe things will calm down soon. George said it won’t, but we’ll see.

So anyway, today I have to go back to the urgent care center. The place is healing now and has made good progress. It’s still “oozing” — sorry, TMI, but it is. But it is not as red and irritated and is closing up and healing. This has been nightmare timing. I’m so over it.

Ok, so I’m going to get off of here and get ready for work. We are having steaks tonight. I’m so excited. I’ll pop in whenever I can this week. I have to go into work early tomorrow and likely as well on Wednesday as I leave to go get Mom after work and it’s best if I go down there early because traffic is a nightmare getting there that time of day. So that means it will be probably Thursday morning IF I get the opportunity then. We’ll see. I’ll be back when life allows me to.