Friday, March 31, 2017

Restaurant Review -- Deck 84, Delray Beach, Florida

On our first night in Delray Beach, Leslie and Mark treated us to supper at Deck 84, which is on the Intracoastal Waterway at 804 East Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. Naturally, we ate outside on the deck where a live band was playing. Although the place was loud, both the music and food were good. It was one of the places I identified as a possible dining experience in Delray Beach as I researched my trip, and Les and Mark confirmed it was a good place to go. Being on the Intracoastal, it is pricey, but good.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Throwback Thursday

For throwback Thursday, here's Sarah in her car seat some ten years ago. I remember that little tie dye dress she's wearing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Arrival in Key West

These are some of the pictures we took the day we drove from Delray Beach to Key West. The first one is from the passenger seat of Sherry's car as she drove south on the Seven Mile Bridge. The next one was artwork in our hotel room that nicely captured a piece of the old bridge.

We passed this marina as we entered Key West.
These next two pictures are from the fifth floor of the hotel where we stayed for the four days we were on the island.

Sunset from the north side of Key West

Monday, March 27, 2017

Battle of Horseshoe Bend

On March 27, 1814, American forces, including Tennessee Volunteers, along with Cherokee and Lower Creek allies, defeated Red Stick Creek forces in what is now Alabama at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, which effectively terminated the Creek War. Maryville's Sam Houston was wounded during the action. (More from the National Park Service)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Spring Break in South Florida

We spent spring break in southern Florida this year, marking my first visit to the area in nearly thirty years. Leslie and Mark put us up at their place in Delray Beach, and we drove on down to Key West during the middle of the week and spent four nights down there. I estimate that we spent a total of 32 hours in the car, not counting what little motoring we did while we were in Delray or Key West.
The only beach time we spent was the day after we arrived in Delray Beach, although we did spend some time at the pool at our hotel in Key West. Fortunately, the highs were around 75 all week, and we didn't have any rain at all until the last day.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Province of Carolina

On March 24, 1663, the Lords Proprietor were granted a charter for the Province of Carolina, which included most of the southeastern current states of the United States and every place I have ever lived. It was named for Charles II, who granted the charter to the Lords for helping to restore him to the throne of England.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Throwback Thursday

For throwback Thursday, here is a picture of Sherry, Sarah and I from ten years ago or so.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Equinox

Today is the spring equinox, meaning winter has officially ended. If you happen to be near Stonehenge, you can join the druids and pagans are celebrating the event there. I'll be celebrating it at my desk in the justice center, content that winter 2017 is in the history books.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Fancy Appetizer

You never know when you might need a good appetizer, so I collect recipes for them to have on hand should the need arise. I found a bacon, ranch and cheese dip recipe at the Nobel Pig, and it looks yummy. I'm not sure if I could pull off the ring of bread, at least not one that looks so nice, but it looks fun to try.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Saint Patrick's Day

Today is Saint Patrick's Day, the patron saint of the Irish. In the United States it has become a celebration of things Irish, and one is expected to wear green or be subject to being pinched for not being in the spirit of things.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Throwback Thursday -- Monkeys Edition

Five years ago Grams took Sherry and the kids on a cruise, so for today's throwback Thursday picture, here is Joey with two diapered monkeys on some island in the Caribbean.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Ides of March

Here's a little Ides of March humor to start this March 15 off. Although it was a bad day for Julius Caesar, I've always viewed it as the unofficial beginning of spring here in East Tennessee. It has been an unusually mild winter, and although there is always a possibility of cold weather into April, by mid-March you have a lot more warm days than you do cold days.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Battle of Fort Charlotte

On March 14, 1780, British Captain Elias Durnford surrendered Fort Charlotte in what is now Mobile, Alabama, to Spanish forces commanded by General Bernardo de Gรกlvez. It was the last British post threatening the port of New Orleans, and the battle limited British military influence in the area to Pensacola.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017

What One Hundred and Ten Boxes of Files Looks Like

In my role as a lawyer, I am usually more useful for by brain than my brawn; however, I've been exercising what little brawn I have left at my age to load boxes this week for shipment to the county archive department to make room in our office for several thousand files we recently moved over from the courthouse and for new files, which we generate daily. The stacks of boxes in this picture, except those last two stacks of four on the right side, represent last week's work, along with moving some files around in the file room I've been pulling files out of and keeping all my other plates in the air in the office. I'm glad to have a weekend to take it easy.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Alexander Graham Bell

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell famously spoke the first words ever transmitted via telephone. He said, "Mr. Watson -- Come here -- I want to see you." I wonder what he would think of today's version of his creation.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Throwback Thursday

For throwback Thursday here is a picture of Jake, Sherry and Sarah from around ten years ago.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Brunswick Stew Recipe


1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes or 3 cups home-canned, chopped with their juices
2 cups strong chicken broth (if using store-bought, enrich by simmering with the chicken bones and skin for at least 30 minutes and then strain)
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup sweet, tomato-based barbecue sauce
1/4 cup peppery, vinegar barbecue sauce or white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 cups green butterbeans
3 cups yellow corn kernels
1 pound pulled smoked or roasted chicken meat
1 1/4 pounds pork barbecue

Serve with: flimsy white bread

1.                              Bring the tomatoes, broth, ketchup, barbecue sauces, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and hot sauce to a simmer in a large pot. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often.
2.                              Stir in the onion and butterbeans. Simmer until they are almost tender, about 20 minutes.
3.                              Stir in the corn, chicken and pork. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more.
4.                              Adjust the seasoning. It should be balanced, but unequivocal. Serve warm with the bread.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm not sure what "balanced, but unequivocal" means, and I can envision many better bread options than plain white bread as a complement to this stew. I will likely experiment with this some. I can see celery and bell peppers working well with this, and I think I will try frying up the the onions in the skillet next time instead of boiling them with the rest of the mixture.

I made this over the weekend, and was very pleased with the results. I didn't really know whether Sherry would go for this recipe or not, but she liked it. I packaged most of it up for our work lunches, but left some in the refrigerator for next week.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Restaurant Review -- The Hop 50's Drive-In, Maryville, Tennessee

I recently had lunch at the newly opened Hop 50's Drive-In, which is just down Everett Hill from us at 1540 East Broadway Avenue here in Maryville in the building that housed Amburn's Humdinger Drive-In for many years. The new establishment is operated by the same guy who runs Hot Rods 50's Diner over in Alcoa. I had the chuckwagon sandwich, which is a breaded and fried beef patty affair, and it was quite good. I was sad to see that they did not retain the corned beef on rye sandwich that Humdinger served, but overall I like the new place. Because it is so convenient, I suspect we will be frequent patrons.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Remember the Alamo!

The Battle of the Alamo was fought 180 years ago on March 6, 1836. Tennessee's David Crockett fell in that battle along with the rest of the men garrisoned at the Alamo.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Spring Cleaning

These are the two members of our household that have not been engaged in spring cleaning today. Sherry has been wanting to rearrange our bedroom furniture, so we started out with that. It, of course, revealed cleaning chores, and once we started the cleaning, the project moved into Sarah's room, which needed the attention even more that our room did.

In the cooking department, my first run at Brunswick stew was a success. I didn't expect that Sherry would go for it, but she liked it. I packaged most of it up and froze it for our work lunches, but kept several servings in the refrigerator for next week. My next project is meatloaf and potatoes, the latter most likely fried with onions unless the girls want to peel some for mashing.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Interstate Family

Mom, Laura and Grace are down at Delray Beach, Florida, with Leslie and Mark. Mom lived in nearby Deerfield Beach for several years back in the '90's, and it has been a long time since any of us have been down in that neck of the woods. My favorite memory of the Deerfield Beach days was opening presents on Christmas morning, picking grapefruit off of the neighbor's tree to make juice for breakfast and going for a swim while breakfast was cooking. It was a nice way to do Christmas.

Back up here in Tennessee we're enjoying a quiet weekend at home after a busy theater weekend last week, although Sherry's gone out for a couple of hours to help a friend with a project. I'm going to try to make Brunswick stew from a recipe I recently found. If it turns out to be any good, I will post it here for future reference.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Battle of Nassau

On March 3, 1776, American marines made their first amphibious landing beginning the Battle of Nassau against English forces located there.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Throwback Thursday

For throwback Thursday here's a picture of Sarah on her tricycle up in the parking lot of the picnic area at Look Rock, which has unfortunately been closed for the past few years.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Restaurant Review -- Sitar Indian Cuisine, Knoxville, Tennessee

I recently met Mom for lunch at Sitar Indian Cuisine, which is located at 6004 Kingston Pike in Knoxville near the intersection of Kingston Pike and Northshore Drive. It has been there forever, and I had never dined there. Mom likes Indian food, so it seemed like a good place for us to meet for lunch. During the lunch hour they have a buffet, which we both took advantage of in order to try several different things. I've been wanting to try chicken tikka masala to see if the batch I made was anything like the way the dish is actually supposed to taste. I was pleased to discover that I didn't do too badly for my first try, although I think I over-seasoned mine. All of the food I had was very good.