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.

Employer Picnic Day, Winery Excursion, and Little Roo Takes to the Pool

We went to George’s company picnic yesterday for lunch. We had BBQ, kielbasa dog, baked beans, Mac n Cheese, and I brought home my chips. It was nice a little lunch. We did not win any prizes but there is nothing we need in life right now I guess, but perhaps reflooring and a house remodel. lol. They were not giving those away. We only stayed for an hour or so as George had to leave to go get a PO for an emergency order. The plant runs 24/7. He only works Mon – Fri but every now and then if a part will shut the plant down, he will have to give a PO for something or try to order something on the weekends. Rare but the call came during the picnic of course. lol

Afterwards we wanted to run by a nearby winery, Cellar53 Winery in Smith County, TN.

The place is beautifully landscaped. It looks like George has flowery pants, lol lol lol. The day was breezy and warm and we enjoyed sitting outside among the green hills and breezy trees. A couple of dogs were around. One evidently went home with its owner and the other lazed around and surprised us by peeking around the corner.

We only did a picnic tasting. These were actually smaller cups than they look. They are larger than communion cups but smaller than the little small size clear drink cups you see at social settings. We got to pick 4. We ended up buying 3 bottles of wine to take home. But it was about like having 1 glass of wine a piece total I guess while we sat outside for a bit. Here was the straight on view from my seat.

I held up my watermelon wine to the US flag, “here’s to America reopening and having gatherings and excursions again”.

One of the wines I bought, was Independence Red, for July 4th!

I really like this winery place. It’s just a little far out though for my liking. It’s close to George’s work though. It’s about 45 min away. Not much else to do in that area but Walmart and maybe a dinner. So we don’t go out this far usually. George has to travel that way all week long so we usually stay close around for excursions unless we are going to make a half day tour of an area or something.

I’ve missed our excursions and it felt like a mini vacation day. We enjoyed it so much. We headed back home and after a big lunch followed by a glass of wine, I was not in a “work mode”, I was in “relax mode”. So I chose to have another glass of wine and read. It was good for my psyche. I redid my to do list marking off all that I had done this week, which was more than I thought. I planned for the next week.

Have I told you how much I love my little escape room? My bed is perfect, my Mac computer is both a hobby spot, planning spot, and a TV. And my chair and little table make the perfect prayer journaling, bible reading, pleasure reading, wine sipping corner.

Life.Is.Good

Life.Is.God

We had a wonderfully cooked evening meal at the dining table.

My To List for Today (Sunday):

  • Church this morning
  • Lunch with friends
  • See Mom’s Plot/House
  • Redo my Vitamins
  • Make pimento and cheese
  • Maybe make a pasta salad
  • Wash George’s sheets
  • Change purses
  • Do my Order for that Wellness Company I use
  • Grocery (might wait and do that tomorrow after work)
  • Hem blue pants
  • Iron a couple of pants/shirts for the next week
  • July 4th decor for table

I thought I had fewer things to do, but I guess not, lol. I’ll probably work on the video in the morning. It’s time to start editing.

I think life is starting to get back to normal. George and I have also booked a concert for next weekend and dinner before. So we have “a date” of sorts.

But George’s Uncle Richard passed yesterday and we are sad about that.

Better go and get ready for church. I’m showered but just need to put on my outfit and do makeup. I’ve been wearing makeup again this week, takes a little extra time.

Pray for us that Mom likes the church. I guess I’m being pessimistic but I’m not used to family members EVER agreeing on much when it comes to churches, and the things churches do, or the people do, or whatever. And someone she doesn’t like she heard goes there, but I’ve been told they no longer go there. So Mom agreed to go.

Mom has decided she doesn’t like ANY church that has “Hills” in it because that their code word for being ________ (fill in the blank here) -however it is she things they are. Liberal I guess. It’ll be a miracle if we end up all going to the same church. Or church at all. George won’t go to Mount Juliet Church of Christ. So……yeah, wish us luck. It would be too easy if she liked this one right next to her place, and where our friends go right? Mom thinks this church has instrumental music and women preaching, but they do not. I don’t know where she got the information or if she just internalized that somehow on her own. I’m afraid to hope so that I’m not disappointed. So we don’t have high expectations today. Maybe that is a wrong approach, but one has to protect themselves from disappointment. And no one gets to own my emotions anymore. I’m not tying myself to anything. It’s just simply going to be or not to be and we’ll move on from there. ;-). But I will say that how things go today will determine the future. So it IS important. If Mom is not happy, I will keep my promise and take her somewhere else in which we will either go with or drop her off, or we’ll all just stay home and do our own thing, but I will keep my promise and that is all that matters on my end. I’m good with me and my God. We are tight. I worship him where I am, all day and everywhere, not just on Sunday. But yeah, how it goes today, determines the rest for ALL.

Meanwhile in Texas

Tales on Christmas EVE EVE

Top of the Morning to ya! We opened a wine I liked that we sipped on over the last couple of days. It had a good taste. I took a pic to remember it.

It’s “Christmas Eve Eve”. George and I have always loved Christmas Eve Eve. Once it was his father’s birthday (also named George) and we always went out to celebrate. Sometimes Olive Garden, with the whole family. Bless Him. He made life fun and interesting. If you had a problem, it was his problem and he would try to solve anything. A very giving and kind heart and a humorous side to him. Just don’t ask him if he wants to buy a chicken. LOL

Why do you ask? He, “Granda” would tell a certain joke only in a loud restaurant, or crowd. He casually asks you “Hey what do you say to a deaf man when you want to sell him a chicken?” And then he yells at the top of his voice “DO YOU WANT TO BUY A CHICKEN?” I mean AT. THE. TOP. OF. HIS. VOICE. It’s a showstopper folks. I’ve been there. The entire restaurant stops talking and looks over.

The fun of course, is later when you go out to eat again and he says “Hey what do you say to a deaf man when you want to sell him a chicken?” And the whole table would go “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” in unison, also causing everyone to look. lol. He was a mess. And we are thinking of him this morning.

And no, it would not be politically correct for me to blog such a joke in public fashion, but I was telling a story of someone who told that joke to a group of friends/family. So in case anyone is confused, I’ve straightened that out for you. (There’s always a few judgers out there looking to pull the spec out of your eye while the big wooden beam rolls around in their own, rolls eyes. That came from the Bible. Not the eye rolling part. That part came from me. lol)

Here’s George’s Dad holding Katy – she was born on Christmas Day!

And here’s my Dad holding Katy. Only he became Pappaw.

Katy had me get out the pics of her as a baby so she could compare pics to River when he is born. She already has a 3D pic which is very realistic.

Here’s the moment of birth. Look at Mom’s face. It wasn’t planned for her to be in the delivery room. George was in there with me and when the time came they asked if she was planning to stay and I said, “sure” so Mom was thrilled to get to stay in there. I was also relieved to have Mom and George in the room.

I remember this feeling. The overwhelming feeling of “joy and protection” over this baby. I remember thinking immediately that I would do all I could to protect this wonderful being for the rest of her life as long as I am living. That is what was going through my head at the time, that I would eternally protect her and love her. I next remembered seeing her hands and how pretty and long they were. And how cute her feet were. I had no idea how to be a mother. I just new how much I loved her.

I saved this blanket and gave it back to Katy at one of her showers for River.

She was a cute baby. She didn’t look like this for very long. She thickened up. Her Daddy loved to give her an extra bottle just before bed. I would feed her what the doc suggested and he would throw that extra bottle in there.

She was already contemplating her future as a teacher, I think.

I look at this pic and think “why didn’t I comb my hair after delivery”? I had other things on my mind and that was a good thing though.

Our “package” came with a dinner for two in the room with grape juice for the wine. I had that turquoise house coat forever. I remember how that was a sweet dinner. But I also remember how tired I was. And I remember George was anxious to go home and us be released and it took forever. He was getting a bit agitated. All I wanted was rest. I think I was tired for a long while.

Katy was born on Christmas Day. I remember on Jan 3rd, Granny Jan, George’s Mom came to our house and fixed a birthday dinner of Spaghetti for me at our house. I was so tired still. I just wanted to sleep and rest. But of course I wouldn’t miss my own spaghetti dinner. I just remember it was all I could do to sit up and eat. I know young mothers are tired, but I seem unusually tired the first few weeks. I also didn’t want to sleep because I wanted to stay up and make sure she was breathing. I realized I had to sleep while she slept though but could always sleep best knowing someone was on watch or holding her.

Going back a bit. Here I was with Mom and my grandmother’s while pregnant.

So Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas has always been very special. It was also my “Nanny’s” birthday on the left. And of course Mam’ma’s (center) birthday was Dec 14th.

While I was typing this, George came in and said “Merry Christmas Eve Eve”! We have always said that to each other through the years.

George and I are looking for a bit more rest tonight. The last two nights have been rough with Roger. He is just unsettled. I’m grateful that George has been dealing with it. When I wake up I’m awake for the night if it’s after 1:30 unless I go right back to sleep immediately. Night before last I couldn’t go back to sleep until almost time for the alarm to go off. Last night Roger started early wanting off the bed. He gets thirsty we’ve figured out. So at 10:30 after an episode of wanting down, George took him for water and both Roger and George began snoring and I’m lying wide awake. Finally prayed for sleep and got it but Roger wanted down over and over again. I just remembered George getting up. And last night after that first encounter, I was able to sleep again after the others. I got more sleep than he did I think.

Now the little bugger will sleep ALL day! ::sigh:: I’m tempted to wake him up when he’s sleeping so he’ll sleep at night. But I just can’t do it.

So all is on track on the work front. Today is my last day to work for before the holidays. We went to the store last night. We stocked up on a “few things” and ended up with a $200 buggy full. lol.

Tonight I’ll make sausage balls. And Christmas Fire Crackers. I kept calling them Christmas Crack but that was wrong. I got that term from someone else and they were wrong. You have to watch what you repeat. It might be wrong. Christmas Crack is chocolate and peppermint I think. But this is Cheese it Crackers, canola oil, pepper flakes, and dry ranch dressing and you bake them. I’ve had it with oyster crackers too but the Cheese It’s are excellent.

Then tomorrow morning I’ll make casserole and clean up a bit and we’ll have a snack spread for Mom and Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken. And then we will have a prime rib dinner and Christmas morning we will munch on sausage balls until brunch.

We are well stocked. No one will go hungry. And we have 3 desserts we bought last night: Red Velvet cake, cheese cake, ice cream, and a chocolate silk pie. Wait – that’s 4 desserts. George wanted to have enough choices. And I think he wanted some leftovers. 😉 I picked the ice cream – it’s strawberry. That sounds so good right now.

So I better get ready and get to work for this final day. A lot to do today. But the mood is happy. A bit tired but content.