A Much Needed Day Off and Asheville NC’s Shopping and Restaurants

Asheville, NC

Oh ya’ll! We are all packed up in our offices at work. Everyone furiously packing around 2 yesterday to finish off the remaining desk and work items for the move. All in boxes and labeled with our Level and Office number. Since it’s difficult to do most of my stuff at home – no printing capabilities – and no office set up – it’s just really hard for me to work at home. I did not have a planned day and wouldn’t have taken today if our offices were not closed. So I’m kinda forced to take a day off. I am not sure I have the extra PTO and may get phone calls anyway. I’ll probably be expected to take it as PTO and that is fine if they want me to do that. I just think the Lord Himself planned the timing because I REALLY needed this day.

Last night we took Mom out to eat at Gondola House in Lebanon, TN and it was really good. It’s a family like atmosphere. We only had to wait about 5 minutes even though it was mostly full. The food and service was good and George and I ate off the salad bar which was fantastic. They made you sanitize your hands before using the utensils and the glass seemed to come further down around the salad bar, fresh ingredients (I always took food from the furtherest section away from the glass (lol).

Mom seemed to be in a pretty good mood. She said she got a lot done and the place did look a lot more put together and things off the counter. She wanted to put the dry ingredients up from the grocery trip. And said she could do that tomorrow so we honored that. She also wanted to put the sheets on the bed in the guest room so I left those for her.

We took her to Aldi to get her spiral ham for her to fix when Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken get there. And we took her to Kroger and she uses the buggy as a walker. I told her people were going to think we were rude “making” her use the cart buggy instead of us taking it. She said “well if they are my age they will understand”. It especially looked weird when she pushed the cart out piled full and George and I walked hands free but she wanted to use it for balance.

It took a long while to get through the store as she cannot walk far without being winded so she walks slow. We came home and unloaded groceries. Fancy had been so upset at her being gone at night that she pooped in all the carpeted rooms. Yes – every one of them. I guess she was marking her territory to protect herself. Mom had forgotten to close the doors because she had been so good always to use the paper.

Even though it was almost 10:00 p.m. at that point I tried to hang her shower curtain rod. I’m just as invalid as Mom when it comes to doing things though – my shoulder and arm does not cooperate. Already sore from having to move and tape boxes I had took it to its limit this week (couldn’t sleep night before last for the pain). So when I tried to put the rod up my arm just went limp and filled with pain. George watched me and ended up having to put it up.

I took River’s package home to be wrapped. I tried to carry it along with a roll of Christmas paper. Holding a box and a big roll of Christmas paper is not something a body was meant to do at the same time. I failed at being able to carry it and it fell and then I “gently” pushed it out the door with my foot but George thought I was trying to kick it. All the while he stood there watching me struggle while empty handed. I was tired so I kept my mouth shut. Finally he did the right thing and came to rescue again.

(No one needs to be around me at 10 p.m. at night. I turn into a pumpkin (jack-o-lantern) at 9 p.m. Knowing that about myself, I tried to clamp my mouth shut, aside from defending myself. Anyway we were out way past my bedtime.

Sleep was divine. And I sit here this morning relieved as I type this to have a much needed and very rare day all to myself. I’ve not had that since mid summer once when I went shopping by myself. I don’t think. I can do what I want pretty much. I can blog til my heart is content. I can upload and schedule the next video. I can see what all Christmas we have bought and update my list and do some wrapping and maybe even some last minute shopping. I can leisurely shower and eat lunch. I can watch a show. I am going to pick what we are having for dinner and fix that. I’ll clean up a bit. I’m sooooo excited to have this unplanned day to try and glue my life back together. I will also be planning the list of where we will shop after we go to a reception tomorrow. We will try to knock out the rest of the shopping.

God has blessed us this week in many ways and we are grateful. I wore my Grateful shirt yesterday. I was truly Grateful to have this day. It’s saving me. Well, God is saving me in more ways than one. He gets the glory.

Sunny Point Cafe, Asheville, NC

This is a popular spot in Asheville. Also Biscuit Head as been mentioned so next time we will try it. This place is over the top for breakfast dishes. Beautifully and enormously presented, and breakfast drinks such as Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s with bacon also available. Parking can be challenging, usually a line. Best advice is “go early”. While we were there, a privately owned company came on site and tried to sell us hats that had stuffed animals sewed onto the top for a project to help women in Afghanistan. A good cause. Asheville is also an artsy town. I was little uncomfortable with the direct contact of the sales folks coming directly up to you to do their sales pitch that lingered a bit. I guess I just wasn’t expecting it. Had it been something we could use, I might have bought one but I guess I’m not particularly wanting to be hit up for money while in line to eat. The cause was fine and the operation they were doing. It just didn’t seem to be the right place and time for it. So that I didn’t like so much, but the food was good. Also very limited seating and mostly outside on patio with plastic all about as winter is setting in, but it was warm enough with heaters etc. At least in our section which was partially indoors. I did not see where reservations could be made.

So all that to sum up and say – it’s worth going but….parking, seating, and sales pitches may have to be endured as part of your experience.

Random Asheville Pics

I did throw some money to this guy playing in the streets. He was playing some pleasant songs. And seemed pretty talented. While George went to the Moogseum (Moog Museum, a synthesizer museum), I went shopping around the Grove Arcade which had lots of shops and restaurants. It seemed like I had an “afternoon in Paris” with the restaurants flowing out into the street sidewalks with table and chairs and beautiful boutiques all around. George was within walking distance and we caught up around the old Woolworth’s which housed local art work for sale. And also some artsy vendors were set up on the street here.

There was a chocolate shop there. I wasn’t sure about the chocolate pasta, lol. I didn’t buy any. It might have been good. I wonder. I just can’t bring myself to even think of it. But, we do put cocoa powder in our chili.

So there is something you need to know about Asheville. There are nice sections and then there are some not so nice sections, as with any town. But I did see a lot of graffiti in this “artsy” community. I took a pic of this street while driving through as an example. I also saw some homeless in tents in a variety of areas that reminded me of Portland, Oregon. Portland’s homeless area seemed a little more aggressive with tent camps even along the interstate. It was more subdued in Asheville but definitely present. You can see the graffiti on the third building down from the right in the medium blue looking building. However, there were lots of painted scenes on buildings just like the building on the right. Just periodic places you pass that have grifitti and run down, but there might be a nice place next door. Kinda weird. But that is the vibe. I have no idea about the crime in the area. We did some walking about at night but stayed in areas that were crowded with others.

French Restaurant Experience at Bouchon’s in Asheville

Ok I’m going to end the blog here today. I have Little Bit in the house with me and he’s unsettled so I need to probably go let him out or see what he needs. So you guys have a great day. I will try and get this video uploaded for either tomorrow or Sunday. I will pop back in and let you know. I’m going to try and glue myself and our lives together and get Christmas under control and my own house in some sort of control. Yeeeee Ha! And rain and storms are supposed to come today and maybe tomorrow. I pray it’s not while we are out tomorrow as we have a lot to do. But I guess if we see a tornado we’ll just take cover the best we can wherever we are. The weather is often nasty severe with storms here in Dec and Jan as the cold weather fights it out with the warm for the drastic changeovers. Only a day or two here and there but it’s like spring at times since the weather extremes fight it out in the atmosphere.

Over and Out!

Home Again, Knoxville Shopping and Eating, and Seeing Family

We are back from our weekend excursion. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We played, shopped, ate, and took in the views, and had some lovely cuisine experiences. We saw family, met our great niece for the first time. It was a perfect trip and we want to go that direction again for other long weekends away. We also found a lot of Christmas gifts and I checked off something from my bucket list, which was to take George to Waynesville, NC. There are so many things we’d like to do when we go back again. And probably a few of the same things again. George got to go to another McKaye’s and also Total Wines (twice) which is the mega Walmart version of a liquor store.

Appreciate the shot above. I had a wait a awhile til there were no cars and then bend down on my knees to get it, lol, with an antsy “let’s go” George by my side waiting. I wonder if he gets tired of me and my taking photos. He has to as it often delays him, or not – sometimes he doesn’t know I’ve stopped and carries on – or perhaps he just goes on anyway. But I thought it would be pretty to get a shot with the berries on the bush!

We didn’t get to many breweries. I think only one in the 3 days of opportunity but he might have stocked up on some of the local beer from Ingles and Total Wines.

You can see the look on his face and body posture. He’s raring to go – like a kid in a candy store. He loves to find hard to find items and to see what is new. According to some, George “must drink all night” – he doesn’t. But he will often have an after dinner drink while watching TV. A sip of whiskey or gin. Sometimes he makes us a Manhattan. He takes his glass back to his bedroom – and gets ready for bed and after a few days brings all his glasses back into the kitchen.

Yesterday’s excursion was to find Christmas gifts, hard to find items, and also items of things less expensive than at home. We keep the liquor cabinet stocked, especially this time of year “for cheer and good spirits” as family comes in, guests pop in, or whatever. In the summer I like to have a specialty cocktail with herbs and cucumber vodka or sometimes something fruity, or a mojito or Moscow mule. In the winter, I am more likely to go for a dark rum and coke, or Crown Royal and Coke. But my go to is wine or Daura Damm Beer which is gluten free, I think. It has a good taste and is not as filling. So we stocked up on some of these things, some wine for me, some wine for Christmas. We did good.

Knoxville’s “Not Watson’s”

Susan and Kevin (SIL and BIL) took us to a favorite part of Knoxville and to see the lighted areas downtown. It was just beautiful and the weather was perfect.

We ate at “Not Watson’s”. Hilarious because apparently it used to be a drug store called “Watson’s”. Now it’s a restaurant (and a good one) called “Not Watson’s” LOL!

After dinner we watched some of the skating and walked around to the lights and a little waterfall. The Knoxville and Asheville video is going to be fun putting together, anticipated to come out next spring or summer depending on how much free time I get (insert eye roll here)!

I am enjoying the new iPhone’s camera improvements for night time photos. How perfect! So much better!

We got to spend some time with family at Cracker Barrel the next morning. We drove to Alcoa and really had a good time seeing Justin, Ellen and their little Anna. She is precious and a little joy to be around. She is a lot of fun and so sweet.

Cracker Barrel, Alcoa, TN

Cracker Barrel now has an “egg in the hole” breakfast. They even give you the holes, lol. It was so good.

All of our hotel rooms were comfy and perfect for our needs. We stayed in Holiday Inn Express in Nashville near the Outlet Mall. And we stayed in Hampton in at Turkey Creek (Farragut area) of Knoxville.

Hampton Inn, Knoxville, Turkey Creek
Holiday Inn Express, SW Asheville, near Outlet Mall

I have so much more to share. But I will have to keep sharing all through the week. What is to come? I will have to do an entry on Waynesville, NC and our experiences there, our French restaurant experience, and our breakfast in Asheville at the Sunny Point Cafe, our beautiful drives and sun rises, and sun sets, the shops in Asheville and random shots of the merchandise and beautiful shops. So much more to come. I look forward to it and I’m excited that I was able to get a lot of video of nearly everything instead of just photos! So anticipate some improvement in videos upcoming – especially spring and after.

So we have a busy week this week. So much going on:

*I’m almost through decorating but we’ve lost George’s stocking somehow. Just a few ornaments left to put on the trees. (We got a lot done yesterday as we got home around 2 to finish decor, unpack, and do laundry and eat a Turkey Pot Pie George made after Thanksgiving and put in the freezer).

*The dishwasher install is tomorrow so we are going to get Mom after work (after we fix hot dogs at our house, after I go to the store and by the stuff, and we’ll work for an hour or so – so George can move some things around.

*Mom’s dishwasher is suddenly no longer working at her new house.

*I have to record all of our shopping items bought so I can assess what is left to do and even everything out.

*Our office is moving Friday. So I’m needing to bring some things home in the next few days. (George keeps trying to take my office stuff to Mom’s thinking it’s her stuff, lol). Actually he DID take one over and I recognized it and put it back in our car.

*We are getting our plans together for the the actual Christmas week so we can figure out our part of the Christmas plan and when we are feeding who and when Katy and Cody will be here exactly.

*We also have just been invited to a friends house for Saturday for a special reception happening there that we plan to go to.

*Mom still needs help and lots of it, but at this point we can just focus on getting the extra bedroom together, extra bathroom put together, and make it functional for Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken. Mom said they get to stay longer this time – a couple of weeks. We are excited to get to see them more! And also they can help Mom unpack and unwrap, ha!

And all that on top of a normal already busy work week. But we will get it figured out and get the critical things done. Everything else will sit and rot til we get time to deal with it!

Tis the Season – is all I can say and soon I’ll be seeing Little Roo and within a month I’ll be out in Texas again! It’s all happening so fast. I knew it would. We are in the spin of things and it won’t slow down until February. January will slow down some but not much. I’ll have to work longer hours likely, maybe even a Saturday. We’ll have the Christmas put up and putting the house back together again.

It’s storming outside and I hate George will have to drive in this mess. I am going the other direction and the nasty stuff has passed. So prayers for him! Although pray for me too because the streets will be very wet. I think I’ll go back roads and go the slow way instead of the interstate which will likely be in wreck status this morning. Nashvillians can’t drive in normal weather without running into one another – thus it’s nickname “Crashville”. So when it rains there’s all kinds of goof ups out there.

More on Wednesday with a mid week update. The next video is finished but needs to be uploaded and thumb nail done. I plan to have it scheduled to go live either Sat or Sun morning according to how much I get to work on it in the evenings to upload to YouTube and let it go through all it’s checks and get Thumbnail done.

Ok so over and out! Ya’ll have a beautiful week. How’s your Christmas shopping going?

Christmas Shopping and Eating: Sushi, Cajun, and Donuts in Mount Juliet

George and I ran errands Friday and basically got to enjoy a nice PTO day. We picked up the police report for my identity theft (finally) since we were off during the police headquarter business hours. And we headed over and bought my iPhone 13 Pro Max (ordered it) for part of my Christmas. We went to Belk and I bought 5 pair of pants (much needed for winter) and a Christmas gift there. We also went into the book store, Books a Million, in Mount Juliet and had a fun time looking through all the various books and toys for Little Roo. We laughed at a few things we saw. I mean Betty White in a children’s book made us cackle. And of course there is the Big Foot Research Kit that everyone must have.

There is the Do Not Disturb sign, “Probably” Working from Home which I happened to notice was sitting on top of an Inflatable Gumby.

And how about these Virtual Meeting Props? Can you imagine the laughter and sidekick humor in your “favorite” virtual meeting?

I personally like the Dammit Doll and might need to keep a set of those – one for work and one around the house. Why do I have a desire to put push pins in it (?) – is that a voo doo kinda of thang? lol!

I also wondered if I would like this author. Have any of you read hers? She has a best selling Novel “Nightingale” that is to become a motion picture. So I’m thinking it might try an audio book.

Most people have seen these. I know people that have this in their bathroom and it’s good smelling stuff. I would love to have some for our bathroom. If I get any for Christmas I won’t be offended. lol I told George to put some in my stocking. Not sure if he will remember. ha.

After our fun we went to eat sushi and a side trip to Tuesday Morning. George was thrilled to go to Mori Mori in Mount Juliet and we ordered a wonderful lunch of sushi and talked about the food and realigned and caught up on where we each were toward “Christmas Shopping” and updated my list book. I have a little spiral notebook Christmas shopping book going.

So….when we do sushi, I don’t eat the raw fish like George does. His plate was the first plate. I believe mine was a California roll. I also had a Ginger Salad and ate 1.5 spring rolls dipped in the sweet sauce (oh my gosh, so good). The Shrimp Tempura – also an “oh my gosh” experience over the shredded carrots there. It was quite yummy and also came with a sweet brown sauce. I enjoyed a Black Abbey Rose along with lunch – because I could and we were on vacation. 😉

So Tuesday Morning shop has a wonderful selection of modern rugs and the prices are not too bad. I mainly took this pic for Mom as with her new and shiny wood flooring she is considering a rug but we just have to be careful as not to get something she can trip on. Her furniture is likely to scratch it all to pieces. We have bought felt and felt pads to glue onto the braces. It seems everything has been so complicated with this move. The bed sizes and mattress issues come to mind, the not having to scratch the wood flooring (makes me grateful for my luxury vinyl flooring and the ease of care, or lack of care, I should say, in our busy world). I bought a few gift items and also some Christmas napkins from here.

So we went back to Mom’s new villa and worked a bit and then headed home and went back out for The Lost Cajun.

I love their catfish and fried okra and got the potato salad which was quite a stingy release of it and it’s more like creamed potatoes with more mayo and pickles than potatoes but it was of course good. lol We did not need fried food but honestly this was the only thing I really care for there. I like Gumbo and Red Beans and Rice sometimes but wasn’t really in the mood for it. I think I’ve had both there and prefer the catfish. So I ate catfish. And of course it was good. One thing I do not love about the Lost Cajun is the inability to change your order. I wanted other sides besides fries but NO it all comes with the fries and you can ADD other items if you want. So they “gotcha” because you want the side you want. I’m not sure I saw baked potato or hush puppies on the list. It comes with toast. But hush puppies are better! Anyway it is what it is. And that is my honest review. But I will say they were very friendly!

We had to laugh at George’s parking. He always parks so far away from the curb. And I never noticed it until Mom began riding with us. She really needs to hold on to the car and allow the car to help her attempt to get up the curb but George parks so far back she has to switch to holding on to my arm. And that is fine only the car is more stable and not moving. Here in the pic below it is not as noticeable as other times. I called it “curbophobea” (fear of the curb) making Mom laugh.


We had to be at Mom’s Saturday morning early for the Lowe’s delivery of the fridge so we stopped at the donut shop and got kolaches, breakfast sandwiches, apple fritters, and donuts. And guess what! Lowe’s had all of her appliances (washer and dryer also). Not just the fridge. I had prayed for nice surprises and we had some. We had been scheduled for the 12/1 delivery of the washer and dryer (a pleasant surprise but a little oopsie on their part for not communicating this). So we were ecstatic that they all came. However, George and I had many things staged in the utility room for unboxing/moving in – so we had to scramble at the last minute to move all that. It would have been nice to know. And sadly the washer had a dent in it. It was on the side and hardly noticeable so that was good. I showed Mom and asked what she wanted to do but told her it was hardly noticeable and I asked the guy if we could get a discount. He said “sure”. So they took a picture and told their “boss” and Lowe’s called back and gave her a really good deal. She was happy with that. It was quite a chunk off. And they will return that on her card. Good deal.

When we left yesterday the fridge had still not made ice but we’ll see. She bought the same fridge we have and I think I remember ours taking a while to begin cycling through. But we’ll see when we go over again what it is doing.

We FOUND THE WHITE DISHES. George did. It was in a section of boxes we couldn’t get into. We never found the router. But AT&T came out yesterday at 3:30 to install her internet. They had to set up and install everything into the nice “box” into the utility room that GoodAll has just for this. So I mean they had to have the lines run and everything and had to drill and they drilled into the wall and it went into her pantry. It was only a small hole and we can fix it as it we were left the materials from the building of her house (paint and spackling, etc.)

I worked on getting Mom’s plasticware washed and with its mates and into the cabinetry. I got out her coffee pot and her air fryer. And we went through a lot of boxes from her guest bathroom and we have about 3 yard sales boxes already. We have much of her kitchen set up but we have to wash and put up her pots and pans still. The box was too heavy for me to move. George will bring it in for us.

I also, on the next workday, will work on boxing up the clothes she doesn’t want for a yard sale. She has quite the pile and we’ll get that into boxes and set up for the spring yard sale.

It didn’t seem like we got a lot done yesterday, but a lot was accomplished considering the delivery of appliances and the setting up of her internet. They didn’t need her router after all because they had their own – a different kind built into the system of what they were installing. So the missing router is now not an issue. I guess all in all we emptied about 6 or 8 boxes.

So where we are with the move now? The Next Steps...

  • The truck for Nov 20th of the final big furniture (china cabinets and couches etc.) has been booked. He could not get one with a lift though. So he had to get a ramp.
  • We need to put felt tips on the bottoms of her recliner and sofa so it doesn’t scar the wood flooring
  • The mattress situation is a critical piece in which when resolved, she can go ahead and move in.
  • Security system can be scheduled
  • George can install her TV
  • George is working on getting the parts needed for installing a bar getting out of each shower and also a bar to hold onto going down her back stairs, and hanging things on the back porch (brick).
  • Mom and I can finish her pantry and wash her pots and pans and get those up and finish her clothes
  • She and I can work on setting up her bedroom dresser and drawers, we are lining with the paper that Lisa gave her (smells so good – like roses) and working on her bathroom area.
  • I think we can go ahead and pick out what she needs for bathrooms and shower stalls (bath mats, rugs, curtains, etc.)
  • It’s all coming together slowly.

More on the Mattress situation.

She will be calling mattress stores near by. I told her we could research that today and see if we can find a store to visit one night this week if they stay open past 6. She is wanting to talk with them first to see options for extending a reg bed into a queen size. *Note for those at work reading/snooping (lol) I know I could buy Mom’s mattresses cheaper from our company but it is not convenient to do so. 1) She has to try it out 2) The show room is in Antioch and we are not. 3) Even if I drover her down to Antioch I’d have to take off work to do so 4) Our company does not deliver so we would have to rent a truck (aaaaaagain) and take off work (aaaaaagain) to go down and pick it up. 5) If Momma is not happy – I will be the one having to deal with it. 6) There wouldn’t be a return unless there was a flaw of some sort.

I have been quizzed recently about this since I work for a mattress company and was told it was unfortunate (silly) not to get my discount and pay 50% more or whatever it was but —it was our business. Yes it is our business. And yes it is sad or silly (whatever term it was) to pay more but are ya gonna let me have the free time off, give Mom advice on the various kinds of mattresses and be her sales guy and answer her questions? Are you gonna pay George for his time off to drive the truck, pay for the truck, or move it for us, give your sweat equity and tears to set it up, and deal with Momma in the process? No I didn’t think so. So you see, ain’t no amount of money worth all that. So she will need to go somewhere close and be able to hear the sales pitches and ask her questions and try it and see and then have it delivered.

Note to self and everyone else: Once we get this move done on the 20th we are officially resigning from moving furniture at that point, lol. I think if we move ourselves we’ll have to have someone else handle it. So….

The Tribe Has Spoken.

So, at 7:00 last night, I’m asking myself, is it NOT bed time yet. I think this has been the hardest time change ever. A week in and I’m ready for sleep by 7! I know the stress of the move and all the excitement exacerbates the issue. But last night we had soup and I went to bed and Mom went to bed. I’m sure George enjoyed some quiet time to himself. I had enjoyed more of the “Polar Girl”, which I’ve endearingly named the girl that lives near the North Pole in Svalbard. Again for like the 3rd night in a row, I’ve watched about 3 YouTube shows while snuggled under a blanket. Watching the snow makes you really cold.

Our Next Plans Today and Forward

So it’s Saturday and I got up at 3:30 as I was awake of course from going to bed so early. Today’s plan is to get laundry done and critical things here at the house and ready for the work week. We may possibly head over with a load of stuff left over in our basement, more of her food, and so forth. And do a bit of work over there this afternoon. George wants to watch the ball game.

George and I are excited that things will be moving toward a new normal. We are looking forward to 1) Eating lamb 2) Watching Netflix shows while we eat dinner 3) I’m looking forward to getting my bedroom back, having room to move my fall clothes upstairs and do the switcheroo (it’s getting cold) 4) Me getting my office back as an office/Santa’s workshop. 5) Looking forward to having my shoe rack back. 6) Looking forward to having my bathroom space back. So as we move and set up we are also looking at the next “to do” list for the house.

Yes, a lot going on.

So IF YOU made it this far, you have to let me know. I really love hearing from you. I will likely not be back here until Wednesday. Tomorrow morning I’m working on the next video and then Tuesday is my early day but hopefully back on Wednesday for a midweek update post.