Saturday, August 30, 2014

Busy Saturday in Maryville

We've been busy today, but are winding down with rain falling outside here on Everett Hill in Maryville.  We had breakfast at Gracie's, did our grocery shopping, and then Sherry helped me put up some light fixtures in our basement.  Sarah has a friend over for a sleepover, and they've been having a good time while Sherry and I have done some household cleaning chores.  We've also cooked a turkey and put together some Turkey and White Bean Chili with some of the meat.  We'll use some for sandwiches, and I've put away about four pounds of it in the freezer in anticipation of making Turkey Tetrazzini at some later date.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Shays Rebellion

On August 29, 1786, Shays Rebellion broke out in central and western Massachusetts.  Delegates would meet in Philadelphia the next summer to create the Constitution of the United States.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Down By the Creek

There is a perfectly watermelon shaped ledge at the bank of the creek on our Estill Springs property right at the area where we like to hang out.  I commented that I wonder how many watermelons have cooled in the water since Grandmother and Granddaddy built the place all those many decades ago.  I assure the dear reader that this is not the first.
My friend Dave Myers coined the term Mediocreminton to describe the variations of Badminton that we play at the Camp.  Leslie and the kids have enjoyed this activity in the creek this season.

Grace built this cool little river city downstream on one of the rocks that washed downstream from where we constructed a dam earlier this year.

Until next time, old friend.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August in Estill Springs

With Sherry in Clarksville and Nashville as Jake and Joey moved into their college dorm rooms last weekend, Sarah and I went down to the Camp, our family cabin in Estill Springs, Tennessee.  Verdant summer foliage abounds at Grandmother Ogle's Hillside Cottage.
Having just finished the staining of our deck at home in Maryville, I was struck by how in need of that our deck at the Camp is.  I'm hoping we can get in a weekend this fall to accomplish that.  Other than that and the raccoon damage, the old place is in pretty good shape.
Sarah and I drove to Estill Springs on Friday, and Laura, Leslie and Grace joined us Saturday around lunch time.  With high temperatures around ninety degrees, we stayed in the creek most of the day.  It was most pleasant.  In this photo, Laura watches Leslie accompanying the children downstream to explore.
La brought a pumpkin to the Camp last October, and we carved a Jack-O-Lantern.  We left it by the fire pit after enjoying it that weekend, and discovered this pumpkin vine growing there last weekend.  It will be very cool if we can carve another Jack-O-Lantern from the fruit of this plant this Halloween season.

It is an unwritten law that we are forbidden to have a family trip to the Camp without playing some form of card game.  This weekend Uno was the game of choice.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chat Lunitique

Sarah keeps shoes in this plastic box under her bed.  It is beyond my ability to comprehend why Molly thinks this is a comfortable place for a nap.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Birthday National Park Service

President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation on August 25, 1916, establishing the National Park Service, which manages our beloved Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Dad's Birthday

My father, Phillip Ellis Ogle, was born on August 24, 1937.  Today is his 77th birthday.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dorm Sweet Dorm

Jake and Joey, in the middle, got moved into their dorm rooms at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville on Thursday.  Here they are with their respective roommates, who are friends from Nashville.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cordell Hull Building Dodges the Wrecking Ball

I worked in the Cordell Hull Building, located on Sixth Avenue North in Nashville, when I was an Assistant General Counsel in the central legal office of the Tennessee Department of Children's Services.  I liked the building and was disappointed to hear that there were plans to demolish it; however, apparently the building has been spared.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Off to College

My stepsons, Joey and Jake, are moving into their dormitory rooms today at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Sherry has traveled to Middle Tennessee to take part in moving day, a bittersweet experience for her to be sure.  I met her when her boys were five.  They are about ten in the picture above, and they are eighteen in the picture below in which they are posing at their grandmother's house prior to graduation.  It is the beginning of an exciting journey for the lads.  May they have successful and exciting collegiate careers.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tamale History of Knoxville

The Metro Pulse recently ran an article by Jack Neely on the history of tamales in Knoxville.  I first encountered home made tamales as a teenager working at McDonalds.  Betty, a lady I worked with, used to make them for us to give us a break from the hamburgers.  As the article points out, it is not unusual in Knoxville to see someone on a street corner with a cooler full of tamales for sale.  In fact, there's a lady who sets up near Mom's neighborhood off of Western Avenue, and Mom bought some for me that are still in my freezer awaiting their fate.  East Tennesseans have apparently been enjoying them for a long time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Deck Project Complete

We completed our weekend project, staining our deck.  We ended up putting three coats on most of it.  After we pressure washed the deck several weekends ago, the wood really soaked up the stain.  Once it dried, we brought our recently painted outdoor furniture from the driveway onto the deck, and we grilled pork chops for supper.  It was too hot to eat outside, but we'll get plenty of use out of the deck this fall as things cool down.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Man of the Times

I tend to by old-fashioned, but since it is 2014 I photobombed this selfie Sherry took on the first day of school back in July.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

More Work

Mom came over and went out to Hot Rods with us for lunch yesterday.  It used to be one of our regular breakfast locations around town, but they stopped serving breakfast, which is the meal we are most likely to eat out on weekends.  Fortunately, they still serve their delightful cheese grits at lunch, and they have an extensive menu, which includes gluten-free options for Mom.  Sarah is partial to their spaghetti, and Sherry had her usual patty melt.  I've been wanting to try to make shells and cheese for a while, so I tried their version as an inspiration.  It was quite good, and like most of their entrees it was enough for two meals.  Mom had a big burger on a gluten-free bun.

After we got home and visited with Mom a bit, we tackled our staining project on our deck.  We've finished most of the detail work, but still have some of it left before we can break out the roller.  The deck is in the back of our house up high as Everett Hill drops off into our back yard, so this morning I am to ascend our extension ladder to get the high parts that we could not reach from up above on the deck itself.  Sarah said, "That's sounds dangerous.  Can I watch?"

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Home Improvement Weekend

We are having another home improvement weekend here at our place, specifically staining our wooden deck.  Sherry got home from work at lunch time yesterday and started the detail work.  By the time Sarah and I got home from school and work, Sherry had followed the shade down the stairs, painting as she went.  All three of us worked for a while until Sarah got tired and bored, and Sherry and I used up our first gallon of paint.  I'm hoping we can finish the detail work today and at least get one coat of stain on the deck this weekend.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Battle of Fort Dearborn

On August 15, 1812, Native Americans of the Potawatomi tribe decisively defeated the American garrison at Fort Dearborn.  The Americans called it the Fort Dearborn Massacre.  It is also known as the Battle of Fort Dearborn.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Crab Dip Recipe

The Nobel Pig has a recipe for crab dip, and it sounds like it would be delicious.  I'm always careful with seafood, but I've never had a problem with crab.  I always try to have it when we go down to the beach, and we have a local business in town that brings it up fresh from the gulf.  Maybe we'll try this the next time we entertain.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Threat to Printers Alley?

Some developers in Nashville are planning a fancy hotel at the site of an old hotel on Printers Alley, where I rented office space when I first moved to Nashville.  There are plans to kick some Printers Alley businesses out of their spaces, which has produced a movement to keep the area the way it is.  Nashville Scene has more.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

DIY Ice Cream Sandwiches

The recipe for these lovely brownie ice cream sandwiches is at Smitten Kitchen.  Yum!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Medusa -- Jellyfish Version

This tiny Hydrozoan is a Medusa, named after the mythological monster with snakes for hair.  It is a wee, glowing jellyfish.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Home on the Hill

After our road trip last weekend, we dedicated this one to being at home here in Maryville.  I tackled cleaning our refrigerator yesterday and plan to cook some meat loaf today.  Sherry and Sarah went to see Guardians of the Galaxy with some friends, and Sarah's friend Grace (not her cousin Grace) came over after the movie.  The two girls spent their afternoon weaving rubber band bracelets, which Sarah has been really into for the past week or so.  She made a bunch of them for cousins at the reunion last weekend, and has been making them and giving them away to friends at school all week.

We have talked about driving up to Camp Montvale, which is having an open house today.  I never went to Camp Montvale, although I knew kids who camped there.  My scout troop always went to Camp Pellissippi.  We'll see how our morning unfolds.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Last Reunion Pictures

Here are my last few photographs from the gathering at Aunt Joan's condo in Jefferson Landing after the Yankee John Church reunion last weekend. 

I explained the significance of Skippy and Scarlett the rats last year.  (Scroll to the bottom)
It was a fun trip.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Abbey Road

On August 8, 1969, this photograph that became cover art for the Beatles' Abbey Road was taken by photographer Iain Macmillan.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Heart and Soul"


Though we never really think of it that way, my sisters and I grew up with a musician, our father.  He played piano to relax after work, and we always marveled at that.  I bang around a little on the guitar, but Dad studied music for years and his aunt, our Aunt Lucy, was a piano teacher who loved to play for our family gatherings.  We do a rousing rendition of "O Christmas Tree," and as a family we have steadfastly avoided learning any lines beyond the three words of the title.

Not being an accomplished musician myself, I've often fantasized about magically acquiring the ability to proficiently play certain instruments, particularly the piano and the guitar, with great skill.  I can fumble through enough folk songs on the guitar to get folks singing around the campfire, but when confronted with a piano, all I've got is "Heart and Soul."  I can only do the low part, but usually there's someone around to play the high part.

The song was published in 1938, the year of my mother's birth, and Larry Clinton hit the top of the charts with it that year.  Here is his version with Bea Wain singing the lyrics, which I had never heard before listening to it.  I posted this version a couple of weeks ago after La and I played it on her piano at her Buckberry Creek Chalet.  I also enjoyed this video of a teenaged couple playing an easier version, but you should forward the video to the 2:20 point for their final take.  A cursory You Tube search revealed a lot of people rocking the old song.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cousins in West Jefferson

The living room at the Albamonte condo after the Yankee John Church reunion was the center for conversation, mostly about family history.  I had not seen my Aunt Iris in many years, and I spent about an hour with her interviewing her about her husband Bobby Cloniger, one of Mom's big brothers. He was a gunner on the U.S.S. Maryland in the Pacific theater in World War II.  Here Mom and her cousin Barbara, keep younger cousins Elena, Kim and Scott entertained with family stories.
I was pleased to see both of my Zimmerman cousins at the reunion this year.  Jon and Scott and I worked for their parents, Barbara and Walter, in Hickory, North Carolina in the early 80's.  It was hard work, but we had a lot of fun, too.  We all still do a passable impression of Walter's New York accent when he would encourage us to work faster.  "We got to get this stuff out of here, boys!"  Jon and Carolyn, shown here with their youngest daughter Charlotte, hope to visit us here in Tennessee again before the year is out.
Aunt Joan knows how to please a crowd.  There was a pool table in the condo she rented for her clan last year, and it was such a hit she made sure to rent a unit with a pool room in it again this year.  This time the pool room was on ground level, and you could step outside to the back yard and the lake, which was nice.
The youngest generation  got along well on this trip.  It is fun watching the little cousins play together.  I grew up playing with my cousins, and as adults we still always have a great time together.  I hope our kids continue the tradition.  Grace's little polar bear became a football for indoor recreation.
My cousin David, pictured here, was one of those cousins I used to play with when I was a kid, although he is a couple of years my senior.  I reminded him yesterday that he first introduced me to the Beatles, for which I am eternally grateful.  I also appreciate all of those hand-me-downs over the years, dude.
A lot of those hand-me-downs originated with David's older brother, George, who went by Phil in those days.  He got me interested in magic, and got me to buy my first Svengali deck from Al's Trick Shop, in Washington, D.C.  Last year, he performed for the children, to their delight, and now Sarah is taking up the trade with the old ball and vase trick.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Yankee John Church Reunion 2014

This weekend we attended a family reunion of the ancestors of Yankee John Church, my fifth great grandfather.  It is conducted the first Saturday in August in West Jefferson, Ashe County, North Carolina.  It is a beautiful area in the High Country of North Carolina in the mountains near the North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia borders.  We attended a reunion of the ancestors of Francis Marion Powell, my great grandfather, last year.  He married Laura Emaline Church, and that is how we tie in to the Church family.  Francis and Laura were my mother's maternal grandparents, and my sister is named for Laura Church.  Shown above is the sixth great granddaughter of Yankee John Church, Sarah Spencer Ogle.
I was pleased to see all my Albamote cousins on this trip.  Andrew, pictured here with me, wasn't able to attend last year.  It was fun to catch up with him.
Sarah, Laura, Cara and Sherry pose beneath the willow that was outside Aunt Joan's big condo.  We stayed in Jefferson Landing again this year, and the Albamonte clan was housed on this pretty pond with a fountain, which is a water hazard on the Jefferson Landing golf course.
We were glad our newfound cousins John and Cara made the trip up from their home in Florida for the reunion.  Cara got in touch with us early last year after seeing a blog post here about our common great grandparents, the aforementioned Francis and Laura Powell.  She and John came up for the Powell reunion last year.  John cooked steak and corn on the cob on the grill, and made some excellent barbecue in the crock pot at their condo.

The Yankee John reunion was held at Midway Baptist Church in West Jefferson, and we gathered there with somewhere around a hundred kinfolk. Aunt Joan and Mom were colorful in their yellow and peach outfits.
Mist hovers over Mount Jefferson with the church steeple in the foreground.  Thanks to the good folks for hosting us!
A herd of Churches