Ageless Wednesday Hodgepodge

 
Joyce asks the questions, and we provide the answers. See how others answered at From This Side of the Pond.

1. Tell me something you remember (or if you're not there yet, something you look forward to) about being 35.
I don't remember a whole lot about being 35. I had an 8, 5, and 2-year-old so I was pretty busy with them. CH & I laugh because he'll bring up something we did or saw from waaaaay back and I usually don't remember them. I tell him it's because I had more important things on my mind...like surviving with 3 little boys.

2. Last time you 'burned the candle at both ends'? 
I've learned through the years to say "no". I've really cut back on "extracurricular" activities to focus on home life (and camping!). I try not to stress myself out anymore. So, to answer the question: I really can't remember! 

3. Are you someone with the 'gift of gab'? Elaborate (which shouldn't be a problem if you answered yes teehee).  
This question is a little trickier than you'd think. I can hold my own in a conversation and I definitely will give my opinion on things, but when you first meet me I may appear on the quiet side. (CH and my siblings-if they read this-are probably doubled over with laughter!) When I met a group of online friends at a convention a few years back, one of them said that I was a lot quieter than she thought I would be. 
Splitcoast Speechies: New Orleans, 2017 (minus our Ohio girl!)
States represented: Texas, Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, California, New Hampshire, Louisiana

4. Do you request a special meal on your birthday, and if so tell us what that meal is? Do you want the same kind of cake year after year or will any flavor work? Do you want cake at all? Growing up were birthdays a big deal in your house? Are they a big deal now? 
We usually have a family birthday dinner with the birthday boy/girl picking the restaurant. I love birthday cake but haven't had one in a long time. Give me chocolate and I'm a happy birthday girl. Growing up with 9 siblings, we were allowed 1 birthday party. I had mine when I turned 7. On birthdays, mama would fix us what we requested for that day. Other than that, no big deal. They aren't a big deal now, either. Just another day!
Pictures of my first 4 birthday cakes that my mom made:



5. 'Age is just a number.'..agree or disagree? Tell us why. 
I definitely agree. I just hit 61 a few months ago and really don't feel any older than 35. You're as old as you feel and I'm just not there yet!

6. Insert your own random thought here.
We're getting ready to plan a big trip! We don't have to be home until mid-August so we can take our time and just enjoy seeing new sights (for me, anyway) and the beauty of North America. We'll definitely be heading north since it's summer, but how far north will we go? Any guesses?

Exploring East Tennessee: Grain Bin Commodities

Wow. It's been a "hot minute" since I've written one of these posts...2 years (almost to the day) to be exact. I hope to be writing more of these in the near future.

CH & I used our Harvest Hosts membership to stay the night in Maeve Anne at a unique place. Grain Bin Commodities is a bakery in the middle of a farm in Sweetwater, TN. It was just a hop, skip, and jump off of I75. 
Entrance to Grain Bin Commodities
Callie & Craig are a super sweet couple who own the business. Callie started the bakery with her mom in their home, and after the spare bedrooms were used for packaging and storing Craig decided he wanted his home back. They began building but he wasn't happy with the contractor. He fired him and found another one who had the building up in no time. And then COVID hit. Amidst that chaos, they continued to build on to what was already on the farm to add to the charm. 
The Bakery

What they have now is simply amazing. There is the bakery, but there is also a patio with beautiful scenery in the background, a barn for private events, and an outdoor fireplace for those chilly fall/spring East TN nights. 
The Event Barn

The Patio

How relaxing would it be to sit here and look out at the East TN Countryside?
The view!

Outdoor fireplace
They paid very close attention to every little detail. You can even see it in their bathrooms. 
Details!
The bakery is "farm to table". Craig said they are going to try to grow their own grain so it will everything will truly be from the farm.  We went in right at opening time on a Saturday morning, and things were really bustling. Carrot cake muffins were just coming out of the oven right before we left. They have an amazing array of baked goods, from country ham and cheese bite-sized muffins to cupcakes. It was really hard not buying at least one of everything.


Coffee Cake Donut and Cream Cheese Roll

Scone, country ham & cheese muffins, sausage balls
This is definitely a place I'd go back to. It's only about an hour from my house so it could easily be done without spending the night. If you're traveling between Chattanooga and Knoxville, it would be a wonderful detour to stretch your legs and buy some baked goods. And, if you're a member of Harvest Hosts and need a place to stay for the night, this is worth a stay.
They are working on building a few small "cabins" that look quite nice. So, if you don't have an RV or aren't self-contained, this is also a possibility.
View of the field across the street. The camping spots are below the camper in the picture.

Have you heard about Harvest Hosts? It's an RV camping membership that has opened up exciting and new overnight experiences for my road trips! Use it to unlock unlimited overnight stays at locations such as farms, wineries, museums and so much more. The network has over 4000 locations and is expanding daily - and it's so much fun! I think that you'd really enjoy it. Here is the link to join with a special discount: ​https://gr3f.co/c/53808/TdItX Check it out and let me know what you think!


Queen Mother of All Hodgepodges

 
Joyce asks the questions, and we provide the answers. See how others answered at From This Side of the Pond.

1. Did you watch the coronation of King Charles III? Share some of your thoughts about that, or about the royal family in general. 

I had no interest in the coronation. I find the royal family intriguing but I think it's lost some of its luster without Queen Elizabeth.

2. What are you the uncrowned queen of? 

Nothing comes to mind but I'm sure if I asked CH or my boys, they'd have a few things to say.

3. In a box of chocolates which one do you usually go for? 

All of them. I'm talking double-fisted, shove in my mouth, regardless of which one it is!

4. Something learned at your mother's knee? 

My faith.

5. 'Like mother, like daughter'...in what way is this saying true for you? 

I looked in the mirror the other day and was really taken aback by how much I looked like her at that moment. I definitely have a love of music in church as she did. At a meeting of the women's group the other night the president mentioned my mom as an officer but said she didn't remember which office she held. I said under my breath "Secretary" and everybody laughed because that's the position I held for a term and have had to take over this term. 

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I keep harping on this, but retirement will be here very soon. I'm thinking about how I'm going to react on that last day...to walk out for that last time. It's actually pretty scary, not knowing what my future is going to look like. Guess that's where my faith comes in. I don't know what's in store, but I know God has a plan and I have to be able to just go with the flow and allow Him to work!

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