Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pizzadillas and Other Quesadillas of Interest

Behold Pizzadillas (and other cool variations on the Quesadilla)!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Quiet Sunday

Mom and I had breakfast this morning at the Midland Restaurant and then visited for a while at home afterward.  After she departed, I cooked the liquid part of the Turkey Tetrazinni I will throw together here shortly.  Sherry and Sarah won't be home until later in the day, so I have another quiet day at the house ahead of me, which isn't a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Return of the Nashville Banner

I like to keep up with the news in Nashville, and I have noted that there have been big changes in the way journalism is practiced in our state capitol, as there have been everywhere.  The Tennessean is behind a paywall, and I deleted its website from my bookmarks list long ago.  I rely now mostly on the websites Nashville Post Politics and the Nashville Scene, as well as those of the Nashville television stations, for most of my Nashville news.  I keep up with legal news emanating from Nashville via the Tennessee Bar Association and the court clerks association.

When I was a kid, many cities had two competing daily newspapers.  In Knoxville there was the News Sentinel (now also behind a paywall and deleted) and the Knoxville Journal, the latter bearing little resemblance to what it was as a competitor to the Sentinel.  In Nashville, and Middle Tennessee generally, the local dailies were the Tennessean and the Nashville Banner.  The latter ceased operation many years ago.  My Ogle grandparents subscribed to the Banner in their home town of Winchester, so I was interested to learn that, to paraphrase the Blues Brothers, someone has put the Banner back together.  They may eventually go behind a paywall, too, but for now it is another source to find out what is going on in my wife's home town.  It is also cool to see the old masthead with the eagle and the flag.

Football and Turkey -- It Must Be Fall

I am manning the fort here on Everett Hill while my womenfolk are away in Nashville, and perhaps also Clarksville depending and where the boys are, visiting Grams, Joey and Jake.  It is a cloudy day here on the hill, and a good day to watch some football on television, which is what I intend to do inasmuch as the Vols play Georgia today at noon.

Aside from taking care of grocery and library duties, which I dispatched this morning, the only project I have for the weekend is to crank out a batch of Turkey Tetrazzini, which I will probably do tomorrow morning.  Mom plans to come over in the morning for breakfast, and since the Tet is her recipe I can get her to supervise my execution of it and advise me as I go.  I make a pretty good batch, but Mom's cooking is always the best!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Johnny Appleseed!

Today is the birthday of John Chapman, known by most Americans as Johnny Appleseed.  He was born September 26, 1774.  I had a friend, Gary Chapman, who told me he was a great grandson of Johnny Appleseed.  Gary was a metal worker, and he made me a short sword which has served me well for many years.  It's not exactly Andúril , but I don't know anyone else who can claim to wield a sword forged by a great grandson of Johnny Appleseed.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hillsboro Village Bosco's Closes

I learned earlier this week via the Nashville Scene Bites blog that the Hillsboro Village location of Bosco's restaurant in Nashville has closed.  It was where Sherry and I went on our first date on March 2, 2001, so it was a special place to us.  I am sorry to hear they closed.  I never had a bad meal there, and they had a jazz brunch with live musicians on Sundays that was always cool.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

U.S.S. Enterprise

The world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Enterprise, was launched on September 24, 1960.  She is the eighth American vessel to bear the name.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Arrives

Last night marked the autumnal equinox and the beginning of fall.

Monday, September 22, 2014

More From Buckberry

Here are a few more photographs from our trip to Gatlinburg over the weekend.  It was a sunny and pleasant September weekend.
Since Laura and Stewart were staining the deck at Mountain Springs Chalet, they sent Gracie down to hang out with Sarah and us at Buckberry.  Here, Terry photobombs Grace with a peace sign.
I was impressed by this huge poplar leaf, which came from a sapling that got cooked over the fire pit.
More fish bait, above, and old friends, below

We went into downtown Gatlinburg for appetizers and a walkabout Saturday afternoon, as you can see from the pictures above.  We had a nice bonfire Saturday night, and talked, explored, joked, sang and laughed until way past my bedtime.  As usual, I was the first one awake Sunday morning, but Sarah stirred shortly after I got up.  She has a narrative writing exercise at school this morning, and got a bit of practice in yesterday morning as we waited for the rest of the house to awaken.  We had a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon and biscuits before we cleaned up and packed out for our respective homes.  We are back to work and school this morning.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

From Sugar Grove to Buckberry Creek

As you can see, this weekend in the Great Smoky Mountains was glorious.  This view is from the Laurel Falls trail near Gatlinburg.
My friend Brush traveled to East Tennessee to visit us this weekend from his mountain home in Sugar Creek North Carolina, and he arrived at Laura and Stewart's Buckberry Creek Chalet on Ski Mountain Road Thursday around lunch time.  I joined him Friday afternoon.
Saturday morning we made the short hike up to Laurel Falls, pictured here from that morning.  When we pulled into the parking lot about thirty minutes after dawn, we were the only car there.  We hiked the 1.3 miles to the falls and back, and when we arrived back at the parking area there were 22 cars.
Although fall is upon us, we saw and heard critters in abundance, including this cool white caterpillar. He was in a hurry and didn't stay with us for long, perhaps because I mentioned what good fish bait he would make.
 Our friend Terry warned us that he would join us Saturday, and Sherry and Sarah also came up Saturday afternoon, so we had a good houseful.  La, Stew and Gracie were up at Mountain Springs Chalet working, and also visited us during their break periods.  It was a fun weekend!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Avast, Mateys!

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  As much as I might like to, I will not be answering the telephone at my office as a pirate today, but once I'm off work, anything goes.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Endeavor at the International Space Station

This is an image showing space shuttle Endeavor docked to the International Space Station in 2011.  It was taken from a Russian supply ship that had just departed the station.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Constitution Day

Today is Constitution Day in the United States, a day set aside to appreciate our nation's founding document, the Constitution of the United States, which was adopted on September 17, 1787.  For readers interested in the proceedings of the Constitutional Convention, I highly recommend Miracle at Philadelphia by Catherine Drinker Bowen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Restaurant Review -- Sammy Jo's Diner, Crossville, Tennessee

Sarah and I stopped at Sammy Jo's Diner, 593 West Avenue, Crossville, Tennessee, on our way to Estill Springs a few weekends ago.  Sarah had chicken tenders and hand-cut French fries, and I had meatloaf, green beans and mashed potatoes.  The meatloaf was plentiful, and it had an interesting spice in it, tarragon, I think.  The service was quick, and the food was excellent.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Grand Teton and Friends

This is a view of the Teton Mountain Range in Wyoming from earlier this month.  The image was captured by a National Park Service webcam.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Winding Down the Weekend

Sarah's school had spirit week last week, and the kids got to dress in a different fun way each day.  They had school color (blue) day, hat day, western day (pictured here), pajama day and house color (purple for Sarah's house) day.  She wore my Resistol cowboy hat well.

Aside for our typical Saturday errands, we stayed around the house yesterday reading and watching movies.  The girls went down to our neighbors' house for something akin to a Tupperware party but involving soaking your feet in some concoction that was being marketed.  Guys would never do this.

I suspect today will be another quiet day.  We have some chicken to cook, and I mean to grill it if the weather will cooperate.  We'll also help Sarah make some blueberry muffins, which she can have for her breakfasts next week.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Battle of Baltimore

Today is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Baltimore, during which attorney Francis Scott Key wrote our national anthem. 

Home From Montgomery Bell State Park

I traveled this week to Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, Tennessee, which is about forty-five minutes west of where we used to live in the Bellevue community in Nashville.  I was there to attend the fall meeting of the Tennessee Court Clerks Conference, but I was able to hike a bit of the park in the mornings before class.  This view is Lake Acorn from the back yard of the inn, where I stayed.
 I hiked part of the Wildcat Trail as it follows the creek downstream from the earthen dam that created Lake Acorn.  It appeared that some quarrying was done in this area.
I saw a lot of yellow flowers along the interstate on my way to and from the conference, but these purple berries on bushes in front of the inn especially caught my eye.
This was another creek on the Wildcat Trail.  This view made me think of the creek at the Camp.
I had a ground level room during this conference, and had this beautiful view outside my back door.
Before I conclude this post, I want to plug Donna's Place, a small restaurant in Burns that I wrote about four years ago.  Usually at conference I just grab a biscuit for breakfast at the local McDonalds, but this time I ate breakfast at Donna's one morning.  I had a sausage and cheese omelet, hash browns with cheese, onion and tomato, and a biscuit and gravy.  The portions were so big I couldn't finish, and didn't eat again until late that day.  I also had lasagna for lunch there, and it was also delicious.  I'll look forward to trying some of their other dishes at next fall's conference.

UPDATE:  I returned to Donna's place in November 2014 with my family, and we were disappointed to see that it had closed.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Restaurant Review -- Coyote Kitchen, Jefferson, North Carolina

When we were at the Yankee John Church reunion earlier this month in West Jefferson, North Carolina, we met our cousins Cara and John for lunch at the Coyote Kitchen, 327 East Main Street, Jefferson, North Carolina.  I was interested in trying Caribbean food and ordered the Barbados Bowl.  I couldn't eat again until lunch the next day.  It was delicious, if a bit pricey.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, AJ's

One of our favorite places to eat in Destin is AJ's Seafood and Oyster Bar, seen here from Destin Harbor.  We had lunch there when we visited in June after a dolphin cruise.  The establishment is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year, and they plan a celebration in October when the Destin Fishing Rodeo is underway.  We're hoping return for a fall trip this year, and Sarah's fall break falls in October.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


One of the many unexpected joys of having a child is when she goes out into the world and comes back with something cool that I was unaware of.  Sarah learned to play an ancient game called Mancala at school.  Sarah found it at my sister Laura's house when La took care of her during the last week of the child's summer vacation, and Laura bought one for her.  It is a pretty cool game, and is played in many places all over the world.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Funnel Cake Burger

Behold the Funnel Cake Burger!  I can feel my arteries hardening just looking at it.  (Via Neatorama)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekend in Elkmont

We've had a busy weekend.  On Friday the members of the East Division of the Tennessee State Court Clerks Conference convened at Louisville Point Park here in Blount County for our fall meeting.  The weather held for us, and there was enough breeze to keep the temperatures comfortable.  I was humbled and honored to be elected President for the coming year.
As you can see, we had a lot of clerks turn out for barbecue, fellowship and legislative updates.  Bread of Heaven catered the event, and no one went home hungry.  Jake and Joey and a friend came to town this weekend, and we got to bring home some leftovers to feed some hungry college boys.
After the clerks meeting, I headed up to Elkmont campground for the weekend.  My friends Angelyn and Chris celebrated their wedding there Saturday, and Angelyn's brother John, known by many names but most commonly as J.P., brought his family up from Florida for the festivities.  John and I went to Rocky Hill Elementary School together, and don't see one another often enough, so it was fun to get a chance to camp out together.  As you can see, the mountains were beautiful this weekend.
On Saturday morning, I went into Gatlinburg for a biscuit, and after breakfast, I drove up to see the Noah "Bud" Ogle homeplace.  I suspected that the work crews would be finished with the new roof, and it looks really nice on the old place.  Here's what it looked like with the project partially completed in July.
Sherry, Jake and Sarah came up for wedding on Saturday, and we spent some time hanging out at the campground before the ceremony.  The satellite dish behind Sherry made a horrible high-pitched whine, and we were all perplexed at someone wanting to watch television in the mountains in the first place. 
Jake and Sarah explored the Little River, and we all three ended up dunking ourselves in the water to cool down.
Here's J.P. and me.  He's no different than he was when we were kids, a fun, happy guy.
This is the Appalachian Clubhouse, where the main celebration took place.  I enjoyed reading about the history of Elkmont, which was a summer retreat for Knoxvillians and other East Tennesseans before the days of air conditioning.
We had a lot of conversation and mingling on the front porch, as I am sure people have been doing up there for many decades.
My friend Doug, pictured here with my sister Laura, is another person I've known since childhood.  He and his brothers are very handy to have around when you are moving.
This is the interior of the clubhouse.  We had another barbecue feast after the ceremony.

J.P. and I recalled spending a couple of weekends in one of these cabins during our teenage years.  The parents of one of our friends had access to one of them, and they were foolish enough to let a bunch of teenagers loose upon their mountain retreat.  The National Park Service is allowing these cabins to fall into disrepair.  I would love to know how and why that decision was made.  I think it is kind of sad.  More on Elkmont here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tennessee State Park Sites Make National Register of Historic Places

The Tennessee Historical Commission recently announced five new sites in Tennessee that were added to the National Register of Historic Places, one of which is the Miller Farmstead located within what is now Roan Mountain State Park.  Here are Sherry and Sarah with the Miller home in the background during our visit there last autumn.
Another East Tennessee historic treasure on that list was the group of rustic cabins at Norris Dam State Park.  They were built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps.  My family once celebrated Christmas in a cabin at Norris Dam State Park when my sisters and I were kids, and Sarah and I camped up there a few years ago.  Perhaps we can work in a weekend up there sometime this fall.