Weekend Wrap-Up

I wasted spent an awful lot of time redesigning both of my blogs this weekend. Sometimes I just get a hair, and have to switch things up. So, if something seems wonky while you're reading, please let me know so I can go back and readjust. Now if I could just figure out how to change how the "comments" look to make it more visible, I'll be set! I'd like to add a signature, but the instructions I found didn't work. I've put an emergency email in to someone who designs blogs, so hopefully she can help me out!
This is what my speech blog looks like:
I even managed to find the digital paper for the background and put it on my blog with just a little help from a tutorial that I found online!
My plan for the weekend was to be quiet and catch up on tv. Weeeell, football was on.  More specifically, UT (THE UT...Tennessee) was on. I did pretty well not yelling. (I was working on the blogs, remember?) 
I went to Mass with Daddy on Saturday night. There is a man in the parish whose wife died last week. My heart just goes out to him so much. He was also married for 61 years, just like my parents. I asked him if there was anything he needed, and he said, "I just miss her so much." I'm not sure how long they have lived here, and I'm not sure if he has family here. 
Sunday morning I printed out some school material, then went with Daddy out to the cemetery. After I got back, CH & I went to look for a tent for our upcoming trip to The Keys. It looks like at least 1 of the boys and his girlfriend will be coming along, and the tent we had needs to be replaced. We didn't have any luck with that, but we did manage to enjoy a nice ride through the mountains on our way home:
 We went by a few alpine coasters that were either in operation, or are in the process of being built. When I was in Austria in 2013, we went on one of these, and it was SO.MUCH.FUN! This one is called Goats on the Roof, and there are, just not today. After looking at the website, the coaster may not be part of it.
 One thing I love about riding around the area in the fall is all of the decorations:

 Since the traffic getting back to the interstate was horrendous (I was glad we saw it on the way in), we took the backroads home:
 We stopped to take a few pictures:

We usually eat Mexican on Sunday evenings, but we opted to just eat something at home. That gave me time to do a little baking:
Easy-peasie 2 ingredient pumpkin spice muffins (made with pumpkin & spice cake mix...that's IT! Thanks, Patty!) for breakfast this week, and brownies for CH & the custodian. Now to make sure I remember to take some to school tomorrow!
We got a text from the principal at my new/old school yesterday morning:
It's the little things that make us happy!

Friday Fragments

Half-Past Kissin' Time

~ We made it through another first: My parents' anniversary was yesterday. Daddy keeps putting one foot in front of the other.

~ I've gone a whole week with little to no voice. I broke down Wed. and went to the doctor: no bronchitis, no strep. I walked out with a prescription for prednisone & some really strange stuff that makes it hard to swallow for a few minutes. (Yeah, won't be taking that again.) I could actually talk yesterday, so hopefully things are going to get better.

~ My baby turned 20 on Wed. It's so weird to think that we made it through the teenage years.

~ One more week until Fall Break! 1/4 of the year already gone...unbelievable! 

~ My "mountain school" does this every year:
Appalachian Bear Rescue is just up the street, so the kids gather acorns and other bear delights to donate. Plus, it gives them something to do during recess!

~ So glad Scandal is back on! I plan on spending a nice quiet weekend not using my voice & watching all of the premiers that I missed this past week. What are your plans?


Photo Credit:  Leslie Karnowski
Today I am thankful for:
~ Parents who truly lived their lives for each other. 
Photo Credit:  Leslie Karnowski
~ A priest who gave my father these words this morning after Mass: Just think how empty your life would have been without her. He also told Daddy that the Church needs him, and all of us kids need him.
~ A father who knows just how blessed he was to have my mother and is man enough to voice it.
Today is my parents' 62nd Anniversary. I took a 1/2 day so I could attend Mass with Daddy, and I've gotta admit: it was difficult. The priest chose songs that had "Mama" written all over it. Needless to say, I didn't get out of there with dry eyes.  Then, a lady came up to Daddy and told him that she had taken over Mama's Adoration Hour, and that she felt Mama had pushed her to do it like she had pushed her to do a lot of things. (When this lady & her family first moved into the area, my parents took them-and their 5 or 7 kids- in until they could find someplace to live. This was in addition to all 10 of us.) She said she knew Mama was sitting with her during her hour.

I know today will be hard for Daddy, but he will get through it.  He's a pretty strong man, and I thank God for him, and how he loves my Mama.

Can't Help Falling into the Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. It's fall. Y'all. My favorite season of the year! What's something you love to do this time of year that makes you feel it's officially fall? And unrelated to that, do you ever say-'y'all'?
Watch football.  And wear long sleeves.  And make Pumpkin Muffins that Patty at Reasons for Chocolate has on her blog.  And, because I'm not too stingy, you can find it here. (Although I'm not real sure why she has it listed under "Desserts"...I eat them for breakfast!)  It's good, y'all. And easy. 
I think I just answered the "y'all" question!

2. When did you last have a falling out with someone? Has it been resolved?
I honestly can't remember having a falling out recently. I'm pretty much a "go with the flow" kind of person. I may get my dander up a little, but I usually just vent about it and it's done.

3. A song you love with the word 'fall' in it's title?
I'm not an Elvis fan, but Can't Help Falling in Love is a favorite.

4. What's something you've recently let 'fall by the wayside?'

5. When did you last attend an event, read a book, watch a movie, try a new recipe, or visit a shop-town-tourist attraction that fell short of your expectations? In what way?
I read The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick (author of Silver Linings Playbook) this summer. I was a little disappointed in it, because it was just...weird. But, now that I've seen Silver Linings Playbook, I completely get it.

6. Describe a time you said or thought, 'The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
I work in elementary schools...so that's pretty much a daily occurrence! 

7. Was today better than yesterday? Why or why not?
It was better in that I had a little hint of a voice today, whereas yesterday I didn't.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to be a Speech Pathologist without a voice? My iPad got quite a bit of use yesterday, more so than normal!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Oh, new shows! Or rather, new episodes of shows! How about Scott Bakula starring in the new NCIS New Orleans? Can't wait to see it! (When you read this, I would have already seen it...hope it doesn't fall short of my expectations!)
The Voice: I didn't think I'd like Gwen Stefani as a judge (even though I like her as a performer), but I'm thinking she's pretty good!
Did you see Red Band Society? Interesting. It's almost The Fault in our Stars-ish.
Are there any shows out there that I'm missing that i need to see?

Weekend Wrap-Up

Yes, I'm still alive! I'm just trying to get back in the swing of school.  Last week was a really busy one: I had something every night except for Friday, and Tues. & Thurs. I didn't get home until 8:00-9:00.  Not fun when you leave the house at 6:30 a.m.
I'm waaaay behind on blogging, and reading blogs, so if you're still with me, thank you! I promise to try to get to everybody very soon!
CH & I took it easy on Friday night. Sat. morning, we threw some stuff in our trailer and headed to Asheville. OS moved to that area a couple of weeks ago, and we needed to take him an old loveseat that we had, along with some spare kitchen essentials. We were pleasantly surprised at his new house: It's actually quite nice. He has woods on the side and to the back so they feel like they have a little bit of privacy. 
After we dropped stuff off at the house, we drove out to the campground and set up.  Then OS showed us around a little bit, and we went into downtown Asheville. We saw some pretty interesting people:
and things:
This is a roaming bar that the patrons pedal. Interesting. They were having a very good time!
We ate at Wicked Weed:
If you walk around the back, you can take your dog with you. The wait staff was extremely friendly, and just about everybody wanted to pet Laika & Sultie (OS' dog). 
The wait staff brought the dogs some water as soon as we sat down. They didn't have a very big menu, but we were just there for burgers, anyway.  OS had a black bean burger that had firewalker pimento cheese & pickled green beans.  I had a taste, and it really wasn't half bad! 
Since it is a brewery, they make their own beer right on the premises. Again, it wasn't bad at all!  I had the Apple Harvest Ale, which is a Belgian blond ale with apple cider that is made locally. 
After we ate, we ran into the grocery store to get something to grill for dinner.  OS joined us for steak, corn on the cob, and potato salad.
We really ate very well on Saturday! Our campsite was right on the river:
I didn't zoom in with that picture.  I sat in my chair and took the picture. It was pretty calming to hear the river. There were a lot of ducks just to the left of the little island, but they stayed in the water & didn't come up to the campsite.
Sunday morning we got up, packed up, and headed home. OS had plans to kayak, so we didn't see him. On the way home, we saw this:
Just in case you can't see it, those are dinosaurs on the hood. The owner was nice enough to allow me to take a picture, and he laughed about it. Seems he has a good sense of humor!
After we got home, we cleaned out the trailer and then reorganized it so we won't have to do it for Fall Break. 20 more days!
I still have to catch y'all up on Sisters' Weekend, which was last weekend. What a blast!
Hope everyone had a nice, relaxing, fun-filled weekend!

Summer's Over Hodgepodge

1.  What's something you wanted to do this summer that you never got around to actually doing?
I can't think of a thing. Everything I wanted to do, I did.

2. Share a favorite memory of your own back -to-school days as a child.
I remember how excited I was to wear a new outfit on the first day of school. I don't have a specific memory of a first day.

3.  What's one chore or daily task you prefer doing 'old-school' ?
Washing the pots & pans.  I don't put those in the dishwashwer.

4.  Share something you've learned in life through the 'school of hard knocks'.
I'm having a hard time thinking of anything on this one. 

5.  As a child, did you mostly bring or buy your lunch for school? What was your favorite thing to find in your lunchbox?
Hmmm...let's see if you can guess from these 2 words:  9 siblings. Yep, I took my lunch almost every single day! I loved the peanut butter & jelly sandwiches Mama used to make! 

6. Football season is upon us which has me wondering... how big of a sports fan are you (not just football) ? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being 'I scream at the players through my television screen' and 1 being 'is knitting a sport?' where do you fall in fandom? 
Oh, a 10!  Definitely a 10! The dogs run & hide when I start yelling at the tv!

Yep, that would be me!
7. Share a favorite quote you think might inspire students of all ages at the start of a new school year. 
8.  Random thought:
Well, my favorite meteorologist is leaving Knoxville. He's from Denver, and is going home to start a job with Weather Nation.  Here's the clip from his goodbye the other day.  I think you'll see why he's my favorite after looking at this:

Weekend Wrap-Up

Another Labor Day has come & gone. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for Fall! Even though we've had a relatively mild summer, there's just something about Fall: clean, crisp air, the cool evenings (and mornings), the humidity going down, and football.  Yep, it's just about the perfect season!
As I write this, OS is about to begin the last leg of his move back to NC from Utah. He called yesterday, broken down on the interstate in Ky. Turns out he may have gotten some bad gas; after a couple of hours he was back on the road, headed toward a buddy's house in Nashville. After 3 full days on the road, I know he'll be glad to get to his new home. This last leg will be a short one for him: only a little more than 4 hours.
Thursday night, I had my first flute choir meeting of the year. We didn't play any; it took all 2 hours to figure out dates for performances for the year. We have one member who drives over 2 hours for practices (her mother lives in the area), and we have another member who evidently has no one to talk to during the day, so we end up wasting quite a bit of time listening to her talk.  The member who drives so far very gently suggested that we keep the conversation to a minimum during practice, so we can optimize our playing time. I thought she did a wonderful job with the suggestion. It really gets me perturbed during practice when we waste so much time and then feel unprepared for performances. We'll see how it goes!
Friday night was "rival night", and the Small Town got a beat-down.  They lost horribly to the Rival High School.  Very disappointing!

I spent part of the weekend making materials for school. Last year, I spent Labor Day writing IEPs & Invitations to IEP Meetings. I was so overwhelmed last year with my caseload; this year is so much better and less stressful. I went to Mass with my Daddy on Saturday night.  When I left, I told YS' girlfriend that they could put together a pasta/spinach/chicken salad, or they could wait and I would make it when I got home. I came home to this:
I got the recipe from Laura at I'm not a Trophy Wife; I highly recommend it.  YS' girlfriend said she usually doesn't like salad like that, but she wanted the recipe. 
On Sunday, CH & I took a drive up to the mountains; specifically, Cades Cove. It doesn't matter how much I've gone up there, I still marvel at how beautiful it is. It rained Saturday night, so the air smelled clean. Love to smell the mountain air, especially after a rain!
On our way out, we stopped and walked by the river at the "Y" (or "Wye"):

Yesterday, I went to Daily Mass with my Daddy, and then ran by the  Dollar Tree (a school employees' heaven!) to get some ideas for something in my rooms. Hopefully it will work the way I want it!
Hope you had an awesome weekend!

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