Monday, June 5, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend in Estill Springs

Here are some of the photographs I took at the Camp when Sarah and I were out there Memorial Day weekend with my friend Johnny and his kids, Natalie and Teddy. We stayed out there three nights, which is the longest stay I've had there in years.
Sarah and I arrive before Johnny and his kids, and we quietly enjoyed the woods and the creek. As usual, Sarah contented herself with her sketch pad.
As you would expect on a hot spring weekend, we spent a lot of down by and in the creek, which was very healthy. We saw a lot of crawdads and periwinkles, the latter being small, black snails that live on the river bottom.
Other that to relax, play with the kiddos and have fun, our only other mission was to put up the railings on the new front porch we built for the place last month.
Sarah and Natalie enjoy some quiet time on the screened porch.
You can't really tell from this picture, but we built a dam that brought the water up about five inches. An earlier flood had piled up a bunch of rocks, mud and leaves on the rock shelf we use to access the creek. We used the rocks for the dam, and when the water came up it got rid of most of the rest.
We had hauled the remains of the old porch down to the fire pit for later burning last month, and we burned about half of it up.
In addition to the railing, we also rehung the screened door, replaced the threshold and put Old Glory back in her place.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Old Stone Fort

Sarah and I met my friend Johnny and his kids in Estill Springs last weekend to enjoy some time in the woods and creek at my grandparents' cabin there. On the way we stopped in Manchester so I could show Sarah Old Stone Fort, a Native American archaeological site that was build during the Middle Woodland period, some 1,500 to 2,000 years ago.
To the best modern science can surmise, Old Stone Fort was a ceremonial meeting place, not a permanent habitation site. It is bounded on one side by the Little Duck River and on the other side by the Duck River.
This field is where ancient people gathered. There is an feature they built at the entrance to the site that lines up with where the sun rises on the summer solstice. This picture is taken looking in that general direction.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Andrew Johnson Acquitted

On May 26, 1868, the United States Senate acquitted President Andrew Johnson of the charges the House of Representatives impeached him on. Johnson was the last Tennessean, and the only East Tennessean, to have ever held the office of the Presidency.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Throwback Thursday

Since we just recently visited the Tennessee Medieval Faire in Harriman, for today's throwback Thursday picture, here are Sherry and Sarah back in 2004 at the Nashville Renfest.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

El Gato

This is another piece of her artwork that Sarah brought home at the end of the school year. Her art teacher had dubbed it El Gato.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Food Truck Review -- Mamma Gallina's

The latest food truck to visit the Blount County Justice Center is Mamma Gallina's, and their colorful truck is pictured above. They serve delicious hot Italian sandwiches and desserts, although I don't see how someone could eat one of those big sandwiches and still want dessert. Lunch runs from $9.00 to $12.00 and includes chips. You can check their Facebook page, linked above, to see where to find them.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Review -- On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I've been on a kick recently to try and read some classic novels, and I pulled On the Road by Jack Kerouac off of my bookshelf, where it has languished unread for a couple of decades. As its title implies, it is a story about the protagonist's travels back and forth across the United States with friends and acquaintances. It is known as one of the important books of the beat generation, and it actually has dialog that includes phrases like "real gone cat" to describe someone enjoying jazz. It was a short read, but enjoyable.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Visit to the Tennessee Medieval Faire in Harriman

Yesterday Sherry and I took Sarah and her friend Grace to the Tennessee Medieval Faire in Harriman. I've been to other such events, which I generically call Renfests, near Nashville, Charlotte and Atlanta, and Harriman's is relatively new. I think they've been there for three years or so. They do a good job of it, but their village watchman is kind of tough.
We got there just in time for jousting, and after the performance they invited the crowd up to pet the horses.

Fortunately, we got some of the seating in the shade, because it was around 85 degrees out. A nice breeze made it better.
I tried my hand at jousting while I was there. It did not go well. Fortunately, there was a high level cleric on hand to revive me.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fort Jefferson

I would have liked to visit Fort Jefferson when we visited Key West. Unfortunately, the way the trip came together, but the time I thought about it, all the slots were booked for the time we were down there. That will be something to look forward to the next time we're down there. (Via Phils Phun)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Throwback Thursday

For today's throwback Thursday picture, here are Jake and Joey. This was taken when they were about eleven.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sarah's Batik Flowers

With the school year drawing to a close, Sarah brought home some of the art she's done at school during the last few months. I like these batik flowers.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Battle of Alamance

On May 16, 1771, the Battle of Alamance was fought between a force of about 2,000 Regulators from the western parts of North Carolina, against militia forces similarly strong under Royal Governor Willian Tryon. The Regulators formed to oppose what they regarded as unfair policies of the colonial government, which was largely controlled by interests in the eastern part of the North Carolina. While the opposing forces were similar in size, the Regulators were disorganized and defeated by the militia, which had more ammunition and artillery.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lost Dog in East Maryville

In hyperlocal news, this flier about a lost dog appeared on our mailbox a few days ago. I do not know the owner(s), but thought I'd share the flier in case one of my neighbors sees the pooch.

Restaurant Review -- Two Friends Patio Restaurant, Key West, Florida

During our spring break trip to Key West, Florida, we stopped in for breakfast at Two Friends Patio Restaurant at 512 Front Street. As you can see from the picture, it is one of those places with all sorts of photographs, posters and other memorabilia all over all the walls. I had the crab cake Benedict, which was delightful. Breakfast for three was just over $60.00. Like everything else in Key West, it was pricey, but the food was great and so was the service.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Nashville Clerks Conference

I attended the spring clerks conference in Nashville this week, and this was the view from my hotel room in the Metro Center area of Nashville, where my office was during the last three years we lived there. I made a plan to eat at Kebab Gyros, one of our favorite Nashville restaurants, and it was wonderful, as it always is. I also had a meal at the Gerst Haus, which I only visited once before. I had the Black Forest schweine schnitzel, which is fun to say and even better to eat. Frankly, I could have made two meals out of what they served me, but instead I went to the conference filled with schnitzel.

As far as the conference itself, as usual they imparted a lot of useful information aimed at helping us all run our offices well. I always enjoy the fellowship with my fellow clerks from all across the state. I always see some of our East Tennessee clerks when I am at conference, but over the years I've gotten to know a lot more clerks from all across the state. I had an enjoyable conference, but it is nice to be home!