Posts Tagged ‘Thoughtful Thursday’

Nashville, Tennessee is one of our favorite places to visit for a day or weekend trip.  C & I were having a little cabin fever a couple of weeks ago so we took off for parts south one Saturday.  The original reason for our trip was to go to the Apple Store at the Mall at Green Hills and I tacked on a few other destinations in the same mall.  You got to make your trips count, don’t you know?

We also visited the Green Hills branch of the Nashville Public Library because we such huge NERDS!  There is a very good reason we did that, but that’s for another post.  The library was very pretty inside and out.  They have a pretty fountain at the entrance and a walking path with a statue.




I have to admit we found the statue a little creepy.  It is a little freaky to sit there and have the “old man” staring at you.  Anywho, since we were out to have a little fun, I decided to search for a new restaurant to try in the area and kept coming back to Table 3 which is a French bistro right next to the mall.  What a success! 

The ambience was great and the food was even better.  One of the specials that day was pork chili and I really hesitated because I thought my mind was made up to try the French dip.  I decided to forgo the chili and go with my first instinct.  Of course, C had the cheeseburger and "pommes frites”.  (C’s statement to me: I just want fries with my burger.  My statement to him:  Pommes frites is fancy French for fries.  You’ll be just fine.)

I went with the baby green salad with my sandwich and I was so glad I did.  It was all so tasty.  Enough with all the words.  Here are the pics:

I think C’s look says it all:  Can we just eat already?





After this, we hit the mall and there were so many stores that I wanted to check out.  There are some stores that just don’t exist in Kentucky.  Restoration Hardware was my first stop and the look is amazing, but the prices are ridiculous!!!  One bathroom cabinet (that wasn’t even solid wood) was $2100.00!  Um, no thank you and I promise not to break anything while I am here.  It was neat to see the set-up, but, in my opinion, their wares are way overpriced

C & I finally made it to the Apple Store and it was a madhouse.  The service was prompt and friendly and C’s errand didn’t take long at all.  After the mall experience, I braved the traffic and made it to Anthropologie.  This was another store that I had heard so much about and wanted badly to be impressed.  They do have some neat things and I can see how food bloggers would go crazy over their selection, but, again, the prices were just a little too high to justify my purchasing things there.  They also some kind of weird air freshener or candle burning which didn’t set well with C or my allergies.

We had a great time and I told C that we just experienced how the “other half” live since this is a swanky and well-off area of Nashville.  I mean, I got behind a Maserati in traffic, for Pete’s sake!  I think I’ll keep my Chevy.

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C has been a comic book fan for years so we decided to check out a comic convention in our area.  We went to one in Lexington, KY, a couple of months ago and enjoyed it, but it was so crowded that it was almost overwhelming.

Louisville, KY hosted its own Derby City Comicon on June 29th, so we went to check it out.  It didn’t seem to be nearly as big or well attended as the one in Lexington, but it was still fun.  I am not that knowledgeable about the characters that were popular.  I was always an Archie comics fan myself and you just don’t see much of that anymore.  Hmmm, I am getting old!

It was a beautiful day to get out and do something so we were both glad that we took the time to go.  It is fun to people watch and see the different costumes that people come up with.  Here are a few of my favorite from that day:
Girlified Iron Man, Loki & Captain America from The Avengers:


A Steampunk Wonder Woman costume: (I loved this one!  If you are wondering what “steampunk” is…it is a style combination of Victorian and industrial items.  Kinda weird, but way cool!  Go here for more steampunk inspiration.)


A mini Darth Vader:


One of the Mario Brothers:


A mini (& injured) Green Lantern with his Bat Girl mom:


Joker & Harley Quinn from Batman:


The Riddler from Batman:


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C & I moved into our newly built home in February of 2006 and we were so happy to be here.  The building process had taken right at a year so we were anxious to be in our new space.  When we went to purchase the last minute things we would need like towel holders and bathroom mirrors, we did it pretty quickly.

Don’t get me wrong, we were very pleased with what we purchased and wouldn’t change much at all, but I was never completely satisfied with the mirrors over our vanities.  Yes, they were big; yes, they were inexpensive, but they were boring!  We installed plain old “contractor mirrors” complete with the not-so-lovely plastic clips.  Ugh.  Here they are in all of their glory…



The size of the mirrors was perfect so I really did not want to replace them, just make them more attractive.  I started searching the internet for ways to “frame” them and came up with a few ideas.  Some people used wood trim and made their own frames while some others had used a product called Mirror Mate.  Hmmm, this looked promising.

C & I are usually pretty handy at DIY projects, but the fact that Mirror Mate will cut your pieces for you pushed me in that direction.  It is quite a bit cheaper to do this yourself with trim, but since the frames came pre-cut and pre-finished, I was sold!  We ordered two frames in the Permaquid Slim Dark Cherry and received them in the mail just a week or so later, nicely packaged in bubble wrap.



The directions sound so simple and they are to a point.  Just glue the pieces together and insert the plastic “joiners” in the pre-cut holes.



The glue needs to dry for at least an hour, but we didn’t have time to finish so ours dried for a couple of days.  One of the frames must not have gotten a good seal because two corners came apart but I just re-glued them.

Next you have to replace the plastic clips from your mirrors with the replacements Mirror Mate will send you with your order.  This is where it got a little interesting for us.  The edges of our mirrors were beveled so the replacement clips didn’t fit tight against the glass.  C had to use a little (according to him) redneck engineering for the new clips to work, but they did. 

We replaced the ones we had to then cleaned the mirrors with rubbing alcohol according to the instructions.

Next put together the cardboard corner guides they send with the order to help hang the frame.  Take the frame to the mirror and level it where you want it.  Have a friend put the corner guides onto the mirror.


Take the frame down and removed the paper off the back that cover the adhesive strips.


Next, very carefully let the frame hang over the corner guides stuck to the mirror and make sure that it is level.  If it is, slowly press the top of the frame to the mirror and then down the sides and bottom.  It should stick tightly and not come off.  The bottom of one of ours is a little loose but I think it is because of the hanging clips, but you really can’t tell it so we are leaving it alone.

Installing these frames was not quite as easy as it first seemed it would be, but I think the results are worth it.  What do you think?



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One day, while watching a Lexington, Kentucky news broadcast, I saw a commercial that really caught my eye.  It was for Springhouse Gardens which, come to find out, was a nursery in Nicholasville, a nearby town to Lexington. 

I mentioned seeing this ad to my aunt and Nanny so we decided to take a little road trip to visit and it was well worth it!  Nicholasville is about 2 hours from where we live so we started out early one morning just a couple of weeks ago.  It is so worth it to take the scenic route up Highway 68 through Lebanon, Perryville and Harrodsburg.  The view up the Kentucky River when you cross is breathtaking!  I wish there was a place to stop for photos at that location, but there really isn’t.  The huge limestone walls and forests along the banks of the flowing river is absolutely beautiful!

We arrived at the nursery after passing some manicured horse farms and we weren’t disappointed.  Since they are located in a more upscale area, the prices reflected that a bit, but they weren’t too bad.  I bought an “American Hero “ hosta and Nanny purchased something I had never seen before…a non-vining Clematis which will make a shrub instead. 

If you are looking for some specimen trees or shrubs to add to your landscape, then I highly recommend going to Springhouse Gardens.  They had things I had never seen before, including a weeping redwood that was out of this world.  I didn’t even know you could grow redwoods in Kentucky.

Would you like to see a few photographs from that day?  I thought so…I’ll be quiet now and just let you bask in the beauty of Springhouse Gardens.  Oh, one last thing…the owners were there that day and they are just delightful.  Let them know if you are from out of town and they will have you sign a guestbook.





Yes, we are in horse country.







Beautiful Japanese Maple trees:


I loved the tree they trimmed to look like a flower:



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For today’s Thoughtful Thursday post, I would like to tell you about two garden centers in my area that I love to visit.  When my mom was living, she ran a small garden center with my aunt and grandmother and, on my days off, I would go with her to pick up wholesale flowers.  I loved these trips and enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful things offered by these businesses.  Thankfully, they also sold retail and now I return every year to purchase my flowers from them.  Please excuse the phone pics…I didn’t have my big camera with me.

Mammoth Cave Transplants is located in Edmonson County, Kentucky,  just a short distance from Brownsville.  The owners are retired school teachers who have this wonderful business right beside their home.  If you are near, please stop in and have a look around.  There are many greenhouses packed tight with blooming beauties along with trees, shrubs, garden art and vegetable seeds.









While you are there, take a second and pet the resident nursery cat, Smoke, who has been there for YEARS!


The second business is Greenleaf Nursery in Glasgow, Kentucky which is only about 30 minutes from where I live.  This was the main place we bought flowers when I was a child and I remember going here with my mom every year.  I have loved gardening from an early age and always enjoyed looking at all of the pretty plants and wanting to try them all! C & I stopped in a couple of weekends ago to pick up a hanging basket so I grabbed a few phone photos while we were there.  It was a nasty wet day but the bright cheery flowers made it worth the stop in the rain.









Greenleaf had some beautiful displays set up to give people ideas of how to decorate with their flowers.  If it had not been so rainy, I could have spend hours just wandering around looking at everything!

I hope you enjoyed this short virtual tour of two of my favorite places to shop.  If you are in the area, please stop by and support these two long standing Kentucky businesses.

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In slowly finishing the upstairs, we have painted the walls and hung hardware in the bathroom.  I have even refinished an antique metal bed to use in one of the bedrooms.  The next thing on the list was a couple pieces of furniture to be used in that same room.  I really wanted something that at least looked antique to match the bed, but did not want to pay antique prices.  Enter more family furniture like the bed. 

In my great-grandparents’ old house were some pieces that no one had room or use for so my Nanny offered them to me.  I jumped at the chance, not only because they have family history, but also because they are two beautifully detailed pieces of furniture that were begging for a make-over.  I made sure that it was okay with Nanny to completely re-do them before I started and she was excited that I was so excited about them.  Here they are in their pre-redo glory:




I just love that scalloped edge on the dresser and both pieces are in excellent shape.  I do need to put new drawer runners on them, but they are okay for now.  Refinishing furniture was a new endeavor for me so online I went to search for a few ideas.  Here are some links that I highly recommend for product ideas and how-tos:

Before Meets After, Censational Girl, and Just A Girl. I am sure there are many more than that, but these three really helped me a lot.  One thing that was consistent with all of theses were their use of Zinsser primer.  I know why now…it is tintable so it is easy to use with dark paint and it hides a multitude of sins.  Along with this primer, most also use Elmer’s Wood Filler to hide pesky holes and dents in the wood.  Sherwin Williams is my paint of choice so that is what I used here.  It is oil based enamel in black satin.


First I cleaned the pieces with warm soapy water and dried them thoroughly.  Next I light sanded to remove any chipping paint and smooth out the worst dings.  I didn’t sand these completely smooth because I wanted some of that old distressed look.

I filled in the worse of the dents with the wood filler and also filled in the knob holes in the dresser drawers because I wanted to use different pulls.  Let the filler set up and sand until smooth.  Cover all of the surfaces completely with primer.  I used 2 coats for a nice base for the paint.

Paint the pieces any color you want.  In my case, I wanted black to go in the purple bedroom with the silver bed frame.  I think I put 3 coats of paint on the pieces to get the desired look I wanted.  On the dresser, I then measured each drawer front to find the center and drilled new holes for the pretty glass knobs I found at Hobby Lobby and attached them.

For the chiffarobe, I wanted to add a little extra pizzazz so I stenciled a floral design on the door in silver and highlighted the pretty trim in silver as well.  I was thrilled with how they turned out and can’t wait to start my next project!





Speaking of my next projects, here is a sneak peek:


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Hi, everyone!  It is so nice to be back in my little blogging world after having to be away for a while.  Thankfully, I had several recipes and book posts pre-scheduled or this space would have gone completely silent.  For those of you who have not had a chance to read my previous Thoughtful Thursday post, my dad had a very serious car accident on October 22 and was in ICU for almost five weeks.  To say our lives turned upside down would be a gross understatement!

After about 3 weeks in rehab, Dad is now home and able to take care of most of his needs.  We have witnessed a miracle in his healing.  To go from where he was right after the accident to where he is now in a relatively short time is astounding.  God’s blessings have just poured over us in never ending waves since this all began.  Every time I went to Him in need, He was there.  Small needs, big needs…it did not matter because He is more than able to take care of everything in our lives.

I can’t imagine how I would have gotten by during this time without God and Jesus in my life.  If you don’t know Him, please seek him out NOW with all your heart.  I know there are bad things happening all over the world, but that’s not God.  That is the devil and the ability to make decisions that God gave us.  He gave us the opportunity to choose him or not; to make good decisions or bad.  It is called free will, and if we follow His voice in our lives and make good choices, good things will happen to us. 

Believe me, I am not saying that we won’t have hard times.  Far from it as my recent past has shown me, but He will lead you through it and give you the strength to deal with whatever “real life” sends your way.

I’m no preacher by any means and I am really shy about speaking out in my everyday life, but this little spot on the world wide web gives me the confidence and freedom to shout to the world how much I love God and Jesus.  Seek Him, find Him, and ask Him into your heart.  You just can’t imagine the peace and love that will fill you.

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I want to apologize for my lacking of blogging lately.  Thankfully I had several recipes and book beginnings posts already scheduled or this would have been one quiet speck on the internet.  Cue crickets chirping here.  My life was turned upside down on October 22nd when my father was involved in a very serious car accident.

He had to be flown to a Level 1 trauma hospital two hours away and was there for five weeks. His lungs were so damaged that he had to be on a ventilator for three weeks.  He had a skull fracture, nine broken ribs, broken sternum, five cracked vertebrae, broken left femur, broken left ulna, and a broken right wrist. The doctors kept him sedated for four weeks to let all of the injuries heal as much as possible.  I have never experienced anything like this in my life.  I had dealt with my mom’s illness and death, but I had never watched someone heal from trauma and injuries like this.  It is a very slow process.

I also know that none of us could have gotten through this without God and Jesus on our side.  I lost track of the number of times that I went to Him begging for help and healing and He came through every single time.  I am so glad that my family and I are Christians and have that healing power to call on in times of need.  If you don’t know Christ and have God in your heart, seek Him now!  He can bring such peace and comfort to you in times of stress and heartache.

Since I am an only child and my mom is deceased, I am the next of kin.  In those five weeks, I came home three days and spent one night in my own bed.  Please don’t pity me…I did it because I wanted to, but I am so glad that we are closer to home.  Dad is now in a rehab facility about an hour away from us and he will be there for several more weeks. 

Because of this, there has been absolutely NO cooking going on here.  My nanny cooked us a small Thanksgiving dinner and it was the first home-cooking we had since the accident.  It was so good!  I so missed being able to cook for the holiday and I probably won’t be doing too much for Christmas either.

C & I are back at work and going to see Dad every evening that we can.  Thankfully, Dad’s girlfriend, E, lives in the same town as the rehab center so she can go by every day.  That sure takes a load off of me.  Hopefully, he will be home in a couple of months and be completely independent.  They just have to wait for all of the broken bones to heal before they can do the intense physical therapy he will need. 

So please bear with me and come back often.  I promise to get back on the bandwagon as soon as I am able.  I so miss the cooking,photography. and writing. 

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My grandmother, “Nanny”, and my Aunt M are usually not big travellers, but when Nanny saw a commercial for Huber’s Orchard and Winery in Starlight, Indiana, she was hooked and really wanted to visit.  I had a Thursday off from work in early October so we went to see it.  When I went online to find directions, I discovered that there is actually two different businesses, Huber’s Orchard and Winery along with Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant.  They are just a mile apart so it makes it easy to visit both in the same day.

We took I-65 up to Louisville and then took I-64 over to New Albany, Indiana and followed the directions from there.  The drive was very pretty and we were all surprised at the long and winding road you take to get there.  Thankfully, there are plenty of signs along the way so you know you are still on the right path.  We arrived at the Huber’s Orchard and Winery first and the views there are gorgeous.


Huber’s raises all sorts of crops to try to have year ‘round interest so we passed Christmas trees…


and vineyards…


before getting to the actual location, which was spectacular!  Here are several photos of the different ponds, animals and decorations along their drive to the store.







When we parked and walked up to the store, there is a talking tree that lets you know about the day’s specials and what is available.


There were pumpkins, gourds and Indian corn galore.  I could have spent a fortune, but I just had to pick a few and make myself walk away.  I loved the way they used the old vehicles to display the pumpkins.








While we were walking around admiring the outdoor scenery, there was this delicious smell wafting through the air.  After entering their store, we knew why…there is a full bakery loaded with cookies and candy and breads and dumplings.  Oh, my, I wish I could bottle that smell.  It was heavenly!  We all purchased a few things here.  I bought a few cookies and gala apples while Nanny chose a couple of sweet bread loaves and fudge.



Next, we drove up the road to Joe Huber’s Family Farm and Restaurant.  This was a really neat place, too, and kids would love it!  They have lots of activities like a corn maze and tractor rides along the farm.




There is a store located here as well and I purchased some Cherry BBQ sauce that was really good.  I had been told that the food at the restaurant is delicious, but we didn’t take the time to eat here.  Their fall decorations were beautiful and they had a few small gardens to tour as well.






Sorry, I know this a long post, but there was so much to see at these two locations!  Finally, here is a self-portrait of the three of us at Huber’s Orchard and Winery and, FINALLY, my little display using the pumpkins I bought there.  If you have a chance to go, I highly recommend it.



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I guess this will qualify as a “travel” edition even though we only travelled 45 minutes, but I wanted to tell you about a local (for us) landmark that is worth checking out.  C & I live about 45 minutes from Mammoth Cave National Park and, even though we both had been to the park, neither of us could remember being in the cave itself.

Every year for the last 16 years, C’s dad has a group of Mexicans that work (legally) on the farm for him during tobacco season.  One gentleman has been coming to Kentucky for all of those 16 years and others for many years as well.  They had asked to go see Mammoth Cave so when R took them, he asked if we wanted to go, too.  I am so glad we went.  I took photos for the workers so their families could see them and the cave.

I was surprised at the beauty of the cave itself.  Of course, the grounds are scenic.  The park is covered in forests with the Green River running through it, but I wasn’t expecting the scope and magnitude of the cavern.




We took the 2 hour Historical Tour and had a wonderful time.  Here we enter into the only natural opening used by the National Park employees:


The guide tells all sorts of interesting stories along the way.  After walking down these stairs, you come into a large open area about 150 feet tall.  There are hollow tulip poplar logs running on one side and these were used during the War of 1812 to mine saltpeter for gunpowder.



The guide also told us about the “historical graffiti” that is on the walls of the cave in several areas.  All of this writing dates back before 1941 when the area became a national park.  After that, writing was considered a federal offense.  Here are two examples of the graffiti:



The second photo shows an example of “smoke writing”.  It was so cool!  Next we crossed “The Bottomless Pit” which is about 150 feet deep.  It was discovered by a slave names Stephen Bishop that worked at the cave.  He laid a log across the pit to cross over.  Mr. Bishop is credited for exploring and discovering much of Mammoth Cave.


Next we went through “Fat Man’s Misery” which is a series of twists and turns that are very narrow and low.  Thankfully, none of our group had any trouble navigating the misery!  Here’s proof C is no fat man!  Ha, ha, ha!


The last big attraction on this tour was Mammoth Dome, also discovered by Stephen Bishop.  It is an large open area with beautiful coloring in the rocks.  Here is C & I at the Dome:

As we all left the cave, there was one little bat hanging upside down…spooky!  I am not sure why this seems so spooky since we see bats all of the time flying around the house at dusk catching bugs, but it was a little spooky!


It is required that each visitor walk across a soapy mat after leaving the cave to prevent what is known as White Nose Syndrome that can damage the bat populations.


We had a wonderful time at Mammoth Cave and want to go back to see more of it.  If you have the chance to go, don’t hesitate!  You will learn a lot and see some beautiful sights, but remember to take a light jacket with you.  The cave is always around a cool 54 degrees.

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