Thursday, December 9, 2021

Holidays on the Farm

 Holiday time is right upon us and it is not any different here on the farm. Animals have changed and we no longer have any horses or large animals, except for the Great Dane that my husband loves so much. We still have ducks, rabbits, chickens, cats and dogs, which still takes some time to take care of, but life is much simpler these days.

With the holidays around the corner, I am quite busy with many plans with friends and family as well as with gifts, decorating, and all the hustle and bustle that comes with the holidays. With that craziness, I have also found out that I am looking at another foot surgery in January that will once again take me off my feet for several weeks and recovery will be close to 6 months or more again. UGH! Because the doctor wants it to be early January (the 12th to be exact), I am not doing much decorating this year and it makes the holiday not seem as bright and shiny. 

Matter of fact, I am emotionally really struggling in many aspects of my life and I am attempting to find some happiness and peace in my life. I am going to see a counselor after seeing the doctor a couple of days ago and a long talk led us to believe that I might benefit from it. I have never had any type of mental health issues, but I truly feel that I need some help. There is no reason to be ashamed of how I am feeling and I know that I need to deal with many issues before the issues that I am having destroys many relationships in my life. I am having some problems in my marriage that my husband does not see as a problem, but I see it as a real problem and I can not accept the ways things are currently. Neither of us have had an affair or anything crazy, but I am struggling with some things that I don't like from an employee of his and he doesn't see it as any issue. Maybe a therapist will help me to be able to explain better to him how I feel. 

What are your plans for the holiday season? Baking cookies, Christmas music, friends and family? I am trying to plan some fun activities for the grands while the oldest is on Christmas break. I have a few places that I want to take them and some fun activities that we can do together as well. I plan to bake cookies next week sometime. I will be celebrating the holiday with my son and daughter in law on the 18th and I hope to have desserts made by then. 

(Image by Google)

Well, I better run. A trip to the post office and the pharmacy is needed today and I think I may try to schedule the rest of my yearly tests that the doctor wants. Have a blessed day and my you have peace till our trails meet again. 

Friday, November 19, 2021

Friday Book Club - A Season Of Love by Amy Clipston

                                                     Copyright ; 2012   Publisher: Zondervan

A Season of Love by Amy Clipston is the fifth and final book in the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series. This book finalizes the story with three young women beginning a new season of their lives. At 285 pages, it is a fairly easy read and I enjoyed the fact that the book had discussion questions at the end of it so that it could easily be used for a book club. A glossary of Pennsylvania Dutch words at the beginning of the book is a tremendous help as well when reading the book. 

Amy has done an amazing job of bringing characters together in each of these books and this one centers around Katie Kauffman and her desire to be with a young man that is not of the Amish faith. Knowing that she can't be with him and yet, a love that will not leave her mind. After being caught in seemingly compromising situations with him, her father has decided that she needs to leave the home and go live with family she has never met; all while, her friends are getting engaged and married. All she wants is the same happiness.

The entire series has been a pleasure to read and if you are a fan of Amish books, I highly suggest that you add this series to your to be read pile. I am thankful that I did. These types of books seem to take me back to simpler times in life and thoughts of a lifestyle that might be just a bit better than our own in ways. 

Book One: A Gift of Grace

Book Two: A Promise of Hope

Book Three: A Place of Peace

Book Four: A Life of Joy

Book Five: A Season of Love

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Girls Trip to South Haven

If you have ever been to South Haven, Michigan you will know that it is absolutely one of the prettiest places on Earth. A recent girl's trip took my friend and I there and I am anxious to return and see some of these same sights again. The views of Lake Michigan, the shops, the food, and fun made it a wonderful weekend!  

They were actually preparing for a wedding on the beach and it was such a pretty sight! On the other side of the beach, we actually seen another bride and groom that had just exchanged wedding vows. What memories!!

How much fun it would be to live in this house? Look at the rounded part of the home and just the sheer beauty you would be surrounded by each day! We discussed that we would have a sun room or breakfast nook overlooking the water and how we would like to spend our days there.

We really enjoyed South Beach. We went to a few others along the water, but I felt that this was our favorite! We actually went on a nice day in September so we were able to take our shoes off and put our feet in the water ( which was cold) and we walked through the sand as well. 

The seagulls were everywhere! They weren't a nuisance though and they were not leaving a mess everywhere. I greatly enjoyed watching them walk along the beach and seeing the many flocks of them along the beach. Such pretty birds!

This is part of South Beach as well. It is along the walkway and I thought that it made a great photo opportunity. It looks as though a ship might just have been stranded here at some time. ( I know better, but..)

Lighthouses are such a unique piece of history and I always enjoy seeing them anytime we can. This one is not open to go into, but it was a great chance to do photos and spend a little time near the water and enjoying the time we were there. 

Oh, the sail boats that we seen. We sat and watched them for quite awhile. We wonder how they know when to let the sail in and out. I would love to ride on one so I am adding that to some bucket list that I will make one day. 

The Cabela's fishing boat was a real treat as well. I shared this with my husband and he enjoys fishing and he likes stores such as Cabela's and Bass Pro Shop. I was unaware that Cabela's had a professional fishing team. Amazing how you learn something new everyday, isn't it?

The walking path made it super easy to go to the end of the town and to the beach and water. 

Plenty to see in the marina as well. 

One of the best restaurants in South Haven is Clementine's. Located along the shopping area, it is a very unique restaurant. It is located in an old bank building so the beauty inside is just as wonderful as the outside. Our food was amazing and the service was impeccable. I would suggest it to anyone that I knew was going there. 
You can't talk about the food without sharing a photo of it. This sandwich was amazing and the salad my friend got was just as appetizing. The croissant was flaky, buttery, and made the sandwich. Oh my, my mouth is watering now just thinking of this food. I hope you are enjoying it as well. 

We ended each day of our trip at our hotel, which was in Indiana and only a short drive from South Haven. We were able to have a lakeside room with a small balcony that we could sit on to drink our coffee in the morning and our wine in the evening. What a perfect way to end the day with a good friend, a good drink , and a beautiful sunset. 



Saturday, November 6, 2021

Saturday Morning Plans

 What are your plans for this Saturday morning? Life had to start early for me today as I am going to a holiday craft show to sell Pink Zebra products today. Anyone that enjoys home fragrance, needs to give Pink Zebra a try. We have wonderful home decor as well and we have added game changing hand sanitizers and soaps to our product line. 

Hand sanitizers that are Ph balanced are much nicer for your hands and I have found that when I use others I can truly feel the difference in ours. My hands are much softer and do not dry out as bad. They also smell wonderful and do not live your hands sticky as so many others do. For those that use it daily, it is a hand saver.

Other than the show today, I plan to rest a bit. I need to have surgery on my other foot and it is really causing some pain. I had to see the doctor yesterday and she basically told me that the foot deformity should have been fixed months ago. Many of you know that I am just now fully recovering from the surgery that I had last year and truly, I do not feel ready for another one, but I have to do it now.

Better get ready to get out of here, I hope your Saturday plans include relaxation and fun. Have a great day!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Fall and Its Beauty

 October is in full force here, but the weather sure is odd this year. We are usually at peak color around this time and we have just barely started to see color on our trees. As I look out the window, I see a little orange and yellow, but not much. Our county is known for it's leaves, which drives all the locals crazy as many tourists flock here to see leaves. The same leaves that are in their own yards and change the same as ours do, but they just feel they see them better here. The photo below is a Google Image, but it looks like our road when color is at its' prime. 

Red, yellow, and orange can usually be seen in abundance here, but I must say that I don't usually notice until it looks like this on my drive out. My friends love to visit in the fall because of the colors. 

This photo is a Google Image too, but I love it. Each morning, I find chickens on our porch banister and I have thought many times that if I placed pumpkins in my window sill, they would attempt to peck through the glass. 

It's hard to believe that it is almost holiday season. You know the November and December rush of Thanksgiving, and Christmas that seems to flood the country each year. I love to decorate, but it seems as though I have been cutting back each year and I am sure that I will this year too. I love my Christmas tree and I have enjoyed our fall décor and Halloween décor, but I will be glad to get my tree up. I do love Christmas!!!!

Fall is winding several activities down here on the farm. The chickens are not laying as much and the work seems to have dwindled down some as well. I am just not up to having so much to do these days. Between my foot surgery last fall, my battle with Co-Vid, and the fact that I am aging, I just feel much more drained than before. My husband had cataract surgery last week and will do his other eye next week and I have battled dry eye syndrome the past week and still feel as though my eyes are not in great shape. I have some tests for macular degenerative done in November and I will say that I am stressed about that. I don't want to lose my sight!!

Well enough of this, I hope you all have a great day and if the weather is nice where you are, please get out and enjoy it!!

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Image Provided by Google                 

Hello! It's a rainy Sunday here on the farm and I must say that I am not feeling the best either. I have a migraine and I truly struggle with them these days. I feel that I can't get my Excedrin to help with them anymore either. Do any of you struggle with migraines and what seems to help? I have used peppermint oil to help as well, but it doesn't seem to be doing much good these days either. 

Life has been crazy these days. I have made several short trips with my daughter and grands. We went to Michigan and enjoyed a few days there. We have gone to the Creation Museum and the Newport Aquarium for fall break and enjoyed the time there as well. It was a celebration of the granddoll enjoying school and doing very well there and then a birthday celebration for the little one. Hard to believe she is a year old and many of you know that I have struggled with her and feelings that I have. I am still struggling and she is a very different baby from the first and she still doesn't do well around anyone but mom and her aunt. I don't know how I will ever be able to give her equal attention, but I know that I love her. 

I have also taken a short trip to South Haven, Michigan and Indiana Dunes National Park with a friend for a few days. It was such a nice time and we found several wines that we truly enjoyed and some that we did not. We are thankful that we were able to go, but we missed our other two friends that we usually vacation with. Work and life interfered with them going. We all are thinking that work is overrated and that it should be time to retire. 

I have also been able to visit with another friend on a trip that allowed us to reconnect with a couple of men that we were priviledged to meet many years ago at church and I have remained friends with one of them, but had not been able to see him for several years. I am thankful that he has since joined the gospel group, The Booth Brothers and I must say that I feel it is a wonderful fit for him. Buddy Mullins, a Godly man has joined his former bandmate, Paul Lancaster and Michael Booth to form a wonderful group of talented men to spread the joy and love of God and His message through song. If you have ever heard of any of these men, you are blessed. Here is a link to their page and I am sure you can find their music in several places online. 

                                          Buddy Mullins, Michael Booth, and Paul Lancaster

                                                             The Booth Brothers

                                                                  Image provided by Google

Well, I must close for now. The dryer is buzzing and the washer has stopped and the broom is calling my name. 

Happy Halloween from the farm and Pink Zebra!!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Everyone I Know Is Sick

 It seems as though everyone I know is sick and most are Co-Vid related. I myself have not been feeling well and I am waiting on a call from the doctor's office to see if I need to be tested myself. I woke up yesterday feeling nauseous and had a horrible headache. Today, I still have a headache but I am not nauseous and feel a bit better. 

 I don't have a cough and I don't have a fever, so I really do not think it is this horrible virus, but I want to make sure. I lost a cousin last week to Co-Vid 19 and he was very healthy and younger than myself. I can't imagine the pain his family is feeling as I know it has really had me in a horrible funk and mad at the world.  I just want to be sure that I am doing all that I can to help my family stay well. I will not allow the virus to take another family member. 

I have several people near me that are sick with it right now. A good friend has both parents home sick and now her dad's oxygen is dropping. I also have family members on my husband's side that are sick with it. For some reason, this Delta variant seems to be hitting so close to home and many people around us are sick with it. I have not had close contact with them, but I want to be sure that I am not taking a chance of exposing my own family to even more of a chance of getting it. 

Today, my worst complaint is my headache! I just can't seem to get rid of it and it seems to be getting worse at times. I believe it is way worse than a migraine and my normal meds are not getting rid of it. I think I would feel better if I did not have it. Temp is running normal, but I do feel as though I get warmer if I am up moving around. I am just thankful that I am not feeling nauseous today.

I pray that you all stay healthy and that Co-Vid leaves us soon. I was vaccinated and I am not regretting it, but I am wondering why so many that I know are sick now that were not sick before vaccinations. 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Going Back on The Road Soon

 I had a fabulous trip to Branson and enjoyed our Pink Zebra reunion so much. Thanks to Tom, Kelly, the customer service team, the product development team, and John as well as the many others it takes to make the reunion fabulous each year. I will see you all in Reno. 

I made a few new friends at this reunion as I am comfortable enough with myself to speak to someone I don't know. This company has given me confidence that I never had before. This company has given me a passion for home fragrances that I never expected to have. If I walk in my home and there is not something nice scenting it, I begin to question everyone why the warmers are not filled and on. If you have never tried Pink Zebra, please let me share the best home fragrance with you. With 70 scents that are blendable, the possibilities are endless. The products are non toxic and if you use hand sanitizer daily, you need to try ours. It is ph balanced , so it does not dry your hands like so many others do. Here is my website and I would love to send you a sample if you email me here

Grey Speckled Simmer Pot

Hand sanitizer on the go

My daughter and I are heading out again Monday and will be at a Power of the Past Festival for a week. I am hoping our sales are fantastic because I am working on paying off all of my credit cards. I want to be debt free other than my car payment and I am working at stocking up on each of the new scents that are available. Events like that are fun, but sometimes seem like a lot of work. However, sales can't just come from friends and family. We have to get the word out about our products and I am building a team under me so I have to find recruits, but I want those that fall in love with the product first, I am not just signing everyone up to have a team. We earn money without anyone under us, so I am very cautious as to what recruits I have. 

After this show, I have another one but it's a one day event and then I will be home for a few weeks before I have to go again. I have a show that is almost two weeks long in September and October. I am excited for those! Fall shows and scents are sometimes the most fun!

My goal is to earn Pink Sapphire and make the trip to reunion in Reno next year. I ask each of you if you like home fragrances, please help me out by purchasing from me or passing my information along to a friend or relative that uses home fragrances. I know the group of bloggers here are fabulous and can help me. If you refer someone to me and they purchase, send me a message and I will send you a gift. EZPZ to win something free!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Heading to Branson

Greetings from a hot and humid area of the country! Farm life is a little more difficult when the temperatures are in the 90's and heat indexes are even higher. If you live in an area that does not have a lot of humidity, you sure are lucky.

I figured I better get on here today and write a bit as I will be leaving to go to my daughter's this week and then we are headed to Branson, Missouri for our annual Pink Zebra reunion. Last year, we were supposed to be in Branson, but due to Co-Vid, we were only able to be virtual. This year, the show is back on and we are super excited to be heading that way on Thursday! It is not my first trip to the area, but I am excited to go back and I love getting to meet Zebras from all over the country and will meet two of our team mates for the first time in person! Super exciting!!!!

* All photos will be courtesy of Google Images on this post*

We will arrive on Thursday and Friday evening we will be taking a cruise on the Branson Belle with many consultants from around the US. 
This will be a first as I was not able to do this the first time I was in Branson. A cruise on beautiful Table Rock Lake is a perfect ending to an exciting day! I am sure that Tom and Kelly, the Co Founders of the company will make the trip absolutely amazing and memorable as they treat us as family!

Our convention is near Branson Landing and it is absolutely beautiful. Lots of shopping and dining options near by and some beautiful views. The fountains are stunning during the day!


And Magical at night

I will be sure to share many of my own photos as soon as I can. 

The farm will not be home to me for several days now as I will leave for Branson and then when we return from there, my daughter and I will be home one day and then we will travel to Kentucky to set up at a sale for several days as well. 

As I was preparing my calendar this morning, I realized that I am only home for about 12 days the entire month of August. It's going to wear me out, but I intend to have fun and enjoy the time that I am with her. I will get back on as I can and write for here. Just remember if you don't hear from me, I am simply working my business and enjoying life!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Blogging Days


This image is from Google Images, but I thought that it was too cute to not share. I use Google Images often with my Pink Zebra business and so I thought that I would use one here today as well. I have not taken many photos recently as I have been busy with my Pink Zebra business. 

I want to thank each of my readers for the many years that you all have supported me and my family in the blog world. I have never made money from my blog, but I would like too. I just am not sure that I want to open it to the crazy money world. I like that it is still personal and a family blog, so I will just keep things the way that they are now. 

Life seems to get in the way of writing so many times these days, but I don't want to give up as I love my blogger friends, so although I may not be here often, I have decided that I am going to keep this up for now and I am going to do my best to continue to keep you all in the know with what is going on. I may move away from the farm stuff and write more about life in general and keep these more as a way to connect with my friends. Our lives have changed over the past few years and we are just not doing as much farm stuff as we have in the past. I love our life here and I can't imagine living anywhere else, but I also just don't feel that we do enough to continue to attempt to do only farm related items here. 

I will continue to read as many of your posts as I can and I will continue to be a huge fan of many of you as well. Some have actually become more than just bloggers, but ladies that I consider friends. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Summer Farm Days

Farm days in the summer can be quite long, hot ,and exhausting. I am thankful that we don't live on a large farm and that we don't have a huge garden, but the animals are enough work. This year seems to already be off to a hot start and I am sure that it will only get hotter and more humid as we roll into July and August. 

Here's the newest farm project. 10 baby chicks. A variety of kinds, but they were on sale at Rural King so hubby decided that we certainly needed them. For now, they are separated from the other older chickens and I am sure they will be for a month or so. The camera was a scary sight for them. 
 Our garden plot! Very small but several rows of planted seeds. We shall see what they do. 

After a day of working in the garden, taking care of animals, helping the grandkids and hubby with whatever the days agenda is. it's nice to be able to relax and enjoy a nice cold glass of blueberry water outside on the porch. 
My favorite way to fuse water is to add blueberry and a little orange or lemon to it. Delicious and refreshing when it is hot and humid outside. 


Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Life on the Farm - May 2021

 Life on the farm has been more about being off the farm lately. It seems that the month of May has literally been a blur! I have found that life has been in the fast lane lately and I am ready for a few slower days in my life. 

I have started working on my health a bit more and I am being more cautious about my food choices and my snack choices. I like to snack and I will admit it! I love cookies, a good cake, ice cream, etc. I also love my lattes! I need to make better choices in what I eat. I have been trying as well as attempting to exercise a bit more now that my foot is a bit better. Starting out easy because I don't like to work out so to speak. I like to walk, so I am attempting to do a bit more of that. 

My daughter and I took the grand kids to a couple of new parks the other day and enjoyed the sunshine and warmer temps. I walked over 6 miles that day and although, I know it was good for me, I was certainly sore the next day. I did enjoy a few trails that day and I will be doing more, but I have to learn to take things a little slower the next time. I can do 6 miles, but I must work my way to it instead of suddenly pushing myself so hard. 

Do you see her getting a bucket of water dumped on her head? She loved the splash pad and had so much fun! She is a water lover, which she doesn't get from me. 
Swinging with her little sister. I so wish these swings would have been available when the girls were little. 
She loves climbing as well. She gets a little scared as she says, but she does fine. I love that the playground had some shade over it as to keep the kids from being straight in the sun. 

Letting the little one play too. She looked too cute in those jean shorts!

Playground number 2
Family photo on the rock! Mom sure is enjoying the time she can with these girls. 
Little Sister getting a quick car ride in. She loved it after being in it a few minutes. 

Little Sister loves to swing! H thought she could swing in these baby swings too. No way! 70 pounds and over 5 years old- I don't think so!

Hiding under the dinosaur rock. She still loves dinosaurs!
Playground number 3 for the day! Our final one as I was exhausted as well as the kids. It was a fun day though.

Gotta make memories now because H is going to school in the fall as it stands now. I am a bit upset as I have truly enjoyed having her as my third home school student, but I also am going to enjoy a break from all of the work. I sure will miss her though!!


Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Great Smoky Mountains Adventures

 Each year my friends and I take a vacation. Last year the virus made our trip to Michigan not happen, but it will next year, I am sure. This year, we decided on a trip to Asheville, NC and to the Great Smokey Mountains and Gatlinburg area. We have been there multiple times, but we don't mind going back.

This trip was to be fun and relaxation before the craziness of two kids getting married within two weeks of each other was to take place. Before I go into all the details, I will say that it was far from uneventful and not so relaxing. We left early on a Sunday morning and before we got to our cabin in Gatlinburg, I received a call that my mother had been in a rather bad wreck and was headed to the hospital to be checked out. She had been t-boned by a motorcyclist and was suffering from cuts on her face and I was worried about a concussion. ( Mind you, my mom is 85 years old this year and in fairly good health despite her life hanging in the balance from a ruptured esophagus).  Despite her car being totaled and her nose being broken, she was overall okay. Thank God!

Upon arriving to our cabin, we were not sure of the driveway because of the steep incline that it took to get down to it. However, we parked the van and our vacation had officially begun. The first day, we were just going to settle in with a trip to the grocery store and some other small stuff. Day 2 we were headed to the Biltmore in Asheville, NC. 

The Biltmore is absolutely breathtaking, but the downpouring rain made it next to impossible to enjoy the day. 

In the bottom picture, you can see the standing water that we were dealing with due to the constant rainfall. Seeing the gardens or other outside areas, was not going to happen unless we wanted to be really wet. Even an umbrella would not hold that much water off of you. 

This was one of my favorite areas of the house along with the library.

How I would love to have a wall of books like this. 

The next item on our adventure list was to go to Lake Lure. For those that are not aware, Lake Lure is where the film Dirty Dancing was filmed. Any Patrick Swayze fan will remember the log scene in the movie where he is teaching Baby ( Jennifer Grey) the dance moves. This was all in the Lake Lure area, so we were excited to go there. 
However, the Lake Lure community must not want the fame that comes along with the movie because this is literally the only way that it is honored in the small town. This hotel is where the star stayed while filming the movie and this sign is the only sign that mentions the film. 
I find it sad that a town that seems to be rather small and could use some tourism revenue would not have more details about the film than this. I was highly disappointed. We discovered that the area where the famous log scene was filmed has since dried up and is now the location of a housing development. Yes, I am aware that life moves on and that it has been 30 years since the iconic film was made, but I just expected more considering the appeal that the film still has. 

While on our way to Lake Lure, we discovered Chimney Rock State Park. You can read more about it here. We were excited to see the views from the top of the rock once we learned that there was an elevator that would take us to the top as myself and another friend knew we were not capable of walking up the multiple steps to see it. 
26 story elevator
see the top 
Beautiful scenery
Extra precautions to keep you from falling
What a beautiful mountain!
God's beauty at it's finest!

We truly enjoyed the time we spent here and I was even able to have my grand doll and daughter at home see me while I was on the rock as there is a webcam that they can view. Now, of course, shopping happened at the gift shop and we were all chatters about the amazing views until we got ready to leave and another bad experience began. The elevator ( 26 stories, remember) was out of order and the cashier is telling us that we must walk down due to a broken cable. Pure panic struck! I knew I was not able to walk down that many steps as well as my friend could not. How do they not have a backup elevator or something? Why would you not be prepared for something like this? Luckily, for us, that it was not a cable broken, but an issue with an electrical problem and it was fixed rather quickly. 

Tuesday was spent going to Pigeon Forge and walking around in the rain. 
The Old Mill is still one of my favorite places in that town. Although it rained most of the time we were there, we did have some fun looking at different things around town. 
 These two shirts were some of my most favorite. I am sure many do not agree with the top one, but I felt it stated a bit of how I feel about doing away with monuments, the Confederate flag, and other things that we have seen and heard being taken down as symbols of hate. 

Our next stop was lunch at Mel's Diner and it was absolutely delicious!!!
I had a fried bologna and cheese sandwich and it was so good!!
These onion rings were delicious!

The five of us shared this banana split! It was one of the best that I have ever eaten!!
Next was the Island. The fountain is a spot that I could sit and enjoy the water show for hours, if it had not been raining. 

Parrot Mountain has a shop at the Island and it was such a fun experience. We actually got to hold birds and have our pictures taken with them. 
My friends and I

These birds were my absolute favorite and I was fortunate enough to be able to hold one of these little guys. I want them so bad, but at thousands of dollars, I can't get them. 
I am not sure you can see what is on this photo, but about half way up that back tree is a bear cub playing with a brother or sister. This was awaiting us at our cabin when we returned. It was so much fun to watch them play. Then Momma arrived and she took them across the street, laid in the driveway and nursed them. 

Momma feeding her triplets! What an exciting Tuesday, but wait there is more! We noticed the van that we had borrowed from my daughter's fiancé 's grandmother  did not like the mountain that it took to get to the cabin. We thought it would be okay, but we discussed renting a Jeep for our Wednesday adventures, which of course included rain!

As I was drinking my coffee Wednesday morning, I suddenly noticed the passenger side van door was open. Now, I knew I had closed it on Tuesday night and was deeply concerned as to why it was open. My daughter went to examine why it was open and motioned for us to come down there. There had been a bear in the van! Yes, someone had left some snacks in the van and he or she was a hungry bear so they helped themselves to the snacks! A bag of Doritos, a can of spray cheese, some crackers, a package of hamburger buns, and a few Nutter Butter Cookies. Nothing was destroyed and the bear had done a great job of cleaning up after himself. We did find a couple of packages and the cracker box, but that was it. 
About 5 minutes after we cleaned up, he or she returned! Still hungry, I guess? My daughter finally scared it off and it did not get back into the van, but it tried very hard! Lesson learned, if in bear country be sure to have all the food out of the car!
We did decide to rent a Jeep that day and we enjoyed driving it around. We took a couple of scenic drives and went into Cherokee, which I was very disappointed in what it was like. Sad that things are so different there now. 
Beautiful mountains
A waterfall
Wild Elk that we seen as we were driving into Cherokee. Overall, other than the massive downpour of rain, the day was saved from the scare the bear in the van gave us. 

Thursday, our last day on vacation and the sun finally shines! Of course, good weather doesn't mean a good day. Within an hour of us getting loaded to leave, I received a phone call that my dear uncle had passed. 
Uncle Tony, a Vietnam Veteran and my dad's brother had passed. After a few moments to collect my thoughts and my composure, we decided to go ahead and finish our day. We had planned to do the Skybridge and we had planned to go to Ole Red for lunch. 
The Skybridge is the newest attraction of Gatlinburg. You ride a chair lift to the top and then you walk this pedestrian bridge that is glass in the center. Amazing! One friend was scared of heights, but she managed just fine and we truly enjoyed our walk across!
Our group of travelers

Look at that beautiful sky 

More blue sky and white billowing clouds as well as the entire town of Gatlinburg

Mountaintop view
Breathtaking scenery
Blake Shelton's restaurant is a new attraction too. The live music and delicious food makes it a great spot for tourists to enjoy some rest and relaxation while enjoying a delicious meal! Couldn't resist having a photo taken with "Blake".

Ole Red - One of his biggest hit songs !
Ole Red
I also couldn't resist taking this photo of the bathroom. I love the way it looks like an outhouse complete with starry sky! 

A fun trip, with many issues and problems, but filled with memories! 

Mother's Day

 Mother's Day can be such a beautiful day for many people, but I always think of the moms that have suffered losses of children, either ...